Andrew Bailey Park gets extensive upgrades
By Sarah Fay Campbell
The Coweta County Recreation Department is currently in the midst of extensive upgrades to the Andrew Bailey Park recreation field in eastern Coweta.
For youth baseball players and spectators for the recently begun spring season, the big change is the expansive paved parking lot which replaced the gravel area that had been used for parking for the life of the park. There is also a new exit onto Andrew Bailey Road, which cuts down on traffic congestion after games.
The paving was done last summer and was in place for the fall ball season, said Carl McKnight, Coweta recreation director.
New for this season are brand new lights for the existing fields, McKnight said.
The expansion project also includes three new fields, which are currently under construction.
They are smaller fields, for the 4- to 10-year-old crowd, or so, according to McKnight. The lights poles up and the initial grading has been done.
The recreation department has just turned in the bid information for the fencing and grassing, McKnight said. Laser grading on the fields will also have to be done.
The fields will be finished this summer and will be ready for the fall baseball season, McKnight said.
In addition to the fields, there will be a new concession stand and new field house. Work on the concession stand is about 40 percent complete, McKnight said. That work is being done in-house.
The expansion of the Andrew Bailey Park facilities was made possible by the acquisition of 12 additional acres of land at the park area.
For many years, the parking area wasn't even owned by the county, McKnight said. The former property owner, the late Richard Prowell, allowed the county to use the area for parking out of the goodness of his heart, McKnight said.
Coweta County bought an additional six acres in 2009 for the park upgrade, and six acres were donated.
Upgrades to Andrew Bailey have been in the works for years. One of the important early steps in the expansion was work on the septic system, which was done two years ago.
The park upgrades and expansion is funded through the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. Total cost was just under $1 million.