NEWTON GROVE — To earn his Eagle Scout ranking, Boy Scout Luke Williams wants to build a batting cage at Weeks Park.
He has a long way to go, but he made a major step Monday night — thanks to the Newton Grove Board of Commissioners. Town leaders approved giving $2,800 to Williams to install concrete pads, with work being handled by Eldridge Concrete.
Williams said his project was recently approved by the organization. After it’s completed he’ll become an Eagle Scout, which is a top achievement for members. Williams is a freshman at Midway High School and member of Troop 55.
The total listed cost of the project is $7,360. Some of the other steps include installing metal posts, hitter’s mat, artificial turf and the nets. His original goals was to have it ready in March for the first baseball game at the park. But donation and scheduling matters delayed that plan.
He’s currently in the fundraising phase and will complete the project in stages. Williams is also seeking assistance from the public for the project. Prior to the meeting, Williams collected about $400. Commissioner Cody Smith made a suggestion for the town to give a matching donation of $1,400. But Commissioner Teresa Wilson made a motion for the board to pay the full amount of the request.
“I think he’s already beating the bushes and doing a good job,” Wilson said.
An area near the basketball court was picked for the project, but it was changed due to drainage, trees and limited space. A spot adjacent to the third base line on the ball field. The move was approved before the commission approved to spend money from the capital outlay equipment fund.
“The third base line is where the majority of them are,” he said.
The batting cage will be another amenity for the park which includes a walking trail, gazebo, grills and picnic area. During the meeting, Wilson provided an update on the playground project at Weeks Park, which is going through weather issues. In 2017, commissioners approved $80,000 for the equipment.
“The weather has set them back just a little bit,” Wilson said. “They probably have least another week.”
Playground Packages, a Mooresville-based company, was selected for the job. The work includes removing old equipment and installing new features. Some of it includes a climbing wall, crawl tube, loop ladder, triple slide and rail ride that gives children a chance to swing 34 feet between platforms.
With construction ongoing, Wilson showed concern about people playing in the safety mulch. To encourage children and adults to stay away until it’s complete, Wilson made a suggestion to place yellow caution tape around the site, until its finished.
Wilson and town officials are planning a public celebration for the new playground when the weather is warmer and idea for outside events. During the special occasion, it was suggested for Williams to spread awareness about his Eagle Scout project.
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