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National Park Ball Field to Get Overhaul

Roy Canton, territorial planner for the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department. The V.I. National Park ball field in Cruz Bay will soon get an overhaul, Housing Parks and Recreation Department officials announced Wednesday at a meeting held at the Battery.
"The community has been asking for improvement," Housing, Parks and Recreation Commissioner St. Clair N. Williams said.
While the national park owns the almost one acre of land on which the ball field sits, Housing, Parks and Recreation has an agreement with the park to oversee the ball field.
Roy Canton, the territorial director of planning for Housing, Parks and Recreation, said the upgrade includes installing lights so the field can be used at night. Several people at the meeting said that this will expand the use of the field.
Additionally, the project calls for grading the field, putting in drainage so the field no longer floods when it rains, installing new playground equipment where necessary and repairing pieces that can be fixed. Additionally, work will be done on the bleachers.
The project is slated to cost Housing, Parks and Recreation $230,000 to $250,000. However, St. John Community Foundation Director Paul Devine said that Wharton-Smith Inc., the construction company working on the Pond Bay Club, will provide in-kind construction assistance. Canton estimated that donation to be worth around $60,000.
In the same time frame as the Housing, Parks and Recreation project, Hardgrove said the access road to the park’s Visitors Center, which runs behind the ball field, will be paved as part of the North Shore Road paving project. He said new lights will be installed at the road and at the pavilion, which sits between the ball field and the Visitors Center. The park’s part of the project will cost about $500,000.
"And we’ve put in five new parking spots outside the field," Hardgrove said.
The new parking spots will help alleviate the parking congestion that happens when events occur on the field.
Canton expects the project to get under way by late summer. He said it should take four months to complete.
The park plans to hold a public hearing before work starts. Hardgrove said the Housing, Parks and Recreation part of the project needs a special-use permit from the park, which his staff will expedite.
Hardgrove outlined the history of the ball field, built on land donated by what was then called Caneel Bay Plantation, now Caneel Bay Resort. The ball field was built in 1970 by Job Corps people from Kentucky.
"Their notes show they learned to swim," he said.
Cooperation between the park, Housing, Parks and Recreation and the private sector for the good of the community relatively new, and several people at the meeting said the joint efforts were working.
"Our goal is seamless government," Hardgrove said.
Williams also said work is continuing on the Pine Peace basketball court, a Housing, Parks and Recreation facility prone to flooding. He said new lights are already in place, with drainage improvements soon to come.

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Roy Canton, territorial planner for the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department. The V.I. National Park ball field in Cruz Bay will soon get an overhaul, Housing Parks and Recreation Department officials announced Wednesday at a meeting held at the Battery.
"The community has been asking for improvement," Housing, Parks and Recreation Commissioner St. Clair N. Williams said.
While the national park owns the almost one acre of land on which the ball field sits, Housing, Parks and Recreation has an agreement with the park to oversee the ball field.
Roy Canton, the territorial director of planning for Housing, Parks and Recreation, said the upgrade includes installing lights so the field can be used at night. Several people at the meeting said that this will expand the use of the field.
Additionally, the project calls for grading the field, putting in drainage so the field no longer floods when it rains, installing new playground equipment where necessary and repairing pieces that can be fixed. Additionally, work will be done on the bleachers.
The project is slated to cost Housing, Parks and Recreation $230,000 to $250,000. However, St. John Community Foundation Director Paul Devine said that Wharton-Smith Inc., the construction company working on the Pond Bay Club, will provide in-kind construction assistance. Canton estimated that donation to be worth around $60,000.
In the same time frame as the Housing, Parks and Recreation project, Hardgrove said the access road to the park's Visitors Center, which runs behind the ball field, will be paved as part of the North Shore Road paving project. He said new lights will be installed at the road and at the pavilion, which sits between the ball field and the Visitors Center. The park's part of the project will cost about $500,000.
"And we've put in five new parking spots outside the field," Hardgrove said.
The new parking spots will help alleviate the parking congestion that happens when events occur on the field.
Canton expects the project to get under way by late summer. He said it should take four months to complete.
The park plans to hold a public hearing before work starts. Hardgrove said the Housing, Parks and Recreation part of the project needs a special-use permit from the park, which his staff will expedite.
Hardgrove outlined the history of the ball field, built on land donated by what was then called Caneel Bay Plantation, now Caneel Bay Resort. The ball field was built in 1970 by Job Corps people from Kentucky.
"Their notes show they learned to swim," he said.
Cooperation between the park, Housing, Parks and Recreation and the private sector for the good of the community relatively new, and several people at the meeting said the joint efforts were working.
"Our goal is seamless government," Hardgrove said.
Williams also said work is continuing on the Pine Peace basketball court, a Housing, Parks and Recreation facility prone to flooding. He said new lights are already in place, with drainage improvements soon to come.