VANCLEAVE, Miss. (WLOX) - Another $400,000 has been budgeted for more upgrades at Vancleave’s recreation complex on Ballpark Road. Parents say the changes are a welcomed improvement.
“Oh it’s really nice. We’re really happy to have it. The kids are loving it,” said Janis Bond. She and her husband Billy have 11 great grandchildren, so spending time at the Vancleave Recreation Complex happens often.
“The little kids enjoy it while the big ones are practicing, and it gives the parents something to do while they’re practicing," Janis added.
“And they’re constantly improving it," Billy said.
Those upgrades are also a welcomed change to Jessie Peterson. He’s the president of the Vancleave Football League.
“We’ve been waiting a while to upgrade our concession stand. We now have air conditioned bathrooms. That’s nice. Press box is going to be nice. We also have another practice field over there," he said. “When my boys started, it was a struggle out here to get them good equipment, to get them nice things. So, we decided then we were going to buy into our community and do a good job for them.”
For years, upgrades have been trickling in at the complex. Last year, it was the soccer fields and bleachers. Crews also tore down the concession stand to build a new one, complete with air conditioned bathrooms. There’s a new parking lot too.
The upgrades don’t stop there.
“We’re continuing on with the ongoing project from last year’s budget on finishing the new soccer field that we’ve been able to build. This next budget, we’ll install the lights and finish up the bleachers and stuff," said Jackson County District 5 Supervisor Randy Bosarge. "This building we’re standing underneath now is a new concession stand bathroom facility that we built for the football and soccer fields. The old facility was really out of date. So now, we took that facility and leveled it, and we’re building a new press box right there.”
Officials have allocated another $400,000 to the complex for the next fiscal year. That’s on top of the $400,000 already spent this year.
Other upgrades include a more handicap-accessible area at the horse arena, as well as new bleachers and backstops for the girls softball field. Bosarge said he also wants to create a dog park and a recreation center for volleyball and basketball.
The soccer fields should be up and running by early 2020. The other upgrades should be done in the next couple of months.