By SHANNON WATKINS
At Thursday night’s Greater Pulaski Alliance (GPA), the topic of Calfee Park and its needs for restoration were brought up by Town Manager John Hawley.
The need for a new visitors’ clubhouse and umpires’ locker room was also brought up at Tuesday night’s town council meeting. The current clubhouse and locker room do not meet professional baseball standards and after five years of being granted waivers for these problems, these features must be upgraded or Calfee Park might lose the right to participate in professional baseball. The estimated cost is approximately $75,000-$100,000.
“This has been an ongoing discussion with the Appalachian League,” Hawley informed the GPA. He mentioned the idea, first voiced by Vice Mayor Joseph Goodman at the town council meeting, that an organization along the lines of “Friends of Calfee Park” could be created to help raise funds for the project.
GPA has served as a fundraiser for Heritage Park, according to Hawley, and brought up the idea of it helping do the same for Calfee. He mentioned that in a list of 160 surveyed minor league ballparks in America, Calfee Park rated 33.
“Again, it comes back to recognizing what a resource it is, not just to the town, but to the whole community,” Hawley said, reminding the group of the economic stimulus it offers in the form of visitors to the town. “We’ve talked about GPA wanting something to focus on. I don’t know whether or not this is it, but it’s a definite need for the town. I think it’s an opportunity for the businesses to step up a little bit, and go out into the community and say, ‘We’re going to help raise this money.’ I think (town) council’s going to work on this as well.”
“Alright. Well, we’ve got it on our agenda now,” said GPA President Nick Glenn, before moving on to other items.