MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb broke ground on construction for Freedom Park’s baseball fields on Wednesday. Macon-Bibb Parks and Rec, County Commissioners and Vine-Ingle Baseball supporters said goodbye to the old dug out and dug in to the dirt over at Freedom Park.
“The project cost just under 2.5 million. We’ve been working on this project for well over a year but if you talk to people in the community they’ve been looking for these renovations and change for many years,” said Parks and Rec Director Reggie Moore.
People in the community like Vine-Ingle baseball coach, board member, and former player David Bethune. He says looking forward to the new splash pad, fields for softball and baseball, and moving Morgan Road for an overall safer lay out of the park.
“Well this is a tremendous day for Macon and Bibb county and our community. We’ve influenced more children through baseball here than most people realize,” he said.
They’re over 700 kids including his own sons.
“I had two kids on my team this year that their grandfathers played out here so there’s multi generations of families coming back and wanting to see their grandkids participate and there’s a reason for that.”
Bethune and his son Alex both have spent their time here at this exact same field playing baseball–a field that’s seen generations of Vine-Ingle little league stars.
Those stars include District 3’s Commissioner Elaine Lucas. “We spent some time as children here in freedom Park and then my own children played ball here,” she said.
Lucas says she’s just glad to be supporting the Vine-Ingle group for the park they’ve worked so hard to keep alive. “They’ve been around a long time they’ve invested a lot of time a lot of energy a lot of their own money into this particular facility,” she said.
It’s still the same old ball game–just on a new field. In phase two of the project, they’ll fix issues with the ball fields over by the lake at Freedom Park. Construction is expected to start next Wednesday and the project is anticipated to be finished by the Spring of 2018.