Park expected to be dedicated in December

By | October 31, 2006 12:00 am

Kim Swindell Wood
The second of three phases of renovations and construction is about to be completed at Sparta Civic Center with a dedication ceremony hopefully scheduled just in time for the holiday season. Tommy Pedigo, City of Sparta mayor, toured the site of the long-awaited project on Thursday. As he spoke with Hal Danson, of Danson Construction, about the progress of the work, Pedigo pointed out some special features that will attract White Countians to the beautifully designed park.
They layout of the brick pavilion, which sits several hundred feet of Highway 70 and faces the busy roadway, has been constructed to be “user-friendly.”
The pavilion has several picnic tables underneath the lofty roof that can provide seating for a large family or small get-togethers. Those utilizing the facility can also bring additional tables and chairs and take advantage of the large lawn area in the front of the pavilion.
The facility is wired with several electric outlets with some located toward the front opening as well as the back portion of the cover. The front portion is unobstructed where band members can set up under the covered area and plug in their instruments. The brick columns are spaced at critical intervals to allow needed structural support, but also provide a large stage area on level ground where music lovers can sit in their lawn chairs or bring a blanket and sit on the grass.
Grills are set up just outside the pavilion. A large brick countertop underneath the pavilion will contain a sink with accessibility to water. Pedigo said microwaves or other cooking equipment can be plugged in with the convenience of electrical outlets adjacent to the countertop.
“There’s probably parking available for over a hundred cars,” said Pedigo.
The park will be brilliantly illuminated with additional lights that can be turned on when needed.
Pedigo expects the park dedication to take place in December 2006. He said the city is waiting for the arrival of the plaques that will commemorate the park before he sets an exact date for the ceremony.
Pedigo said he has a vision of utilizing the park for a City of Sparta Christmas tree with lights not only on the tree, but also outlining the pavilion area. He said the park would provide a venue for numerous activities, including concerts. But, as he stated, the neighbors in the vicinity must be respected and consideration given to the noise levels.
City of Sparta has three phases of the project for the area around Sparta Civic Center. Phase I was repairing the structural foundation of the civic center. Phase II is now in progress with the pavilion. Phase III will include renovation of the inside of the civic center, as well as constructing a gazebo adjacent to the structure.
“Phase III will be remodeling the civic center to make it more business oriented – more meeting compatible- to make if where people can use it for business purposes and still use it for family reunions,” said Pedigo.
Pedigo said the initial plans are to make a hallway that extends across the entire length of the civic center and connects the bathrooms located on each end. The meeting area would be divided into two rooms that would be connected possibly by an accordion-style, sound-proof divider that could be closed to separate the room where two groups could utilize the facility at the same time. Or, the divider could remain open to accommodate one large meeting.
“One of the things that we might do is build another room on the side to make three [separate rooms],” said Pedigo.
The road that once circled behind the civic center no longer exists. The recent renovations have included construction of a larger parking area with more accessible entrances and connectors between the civic center, the pavilion and White County High School Baseball Field.
Pedigo said the projects have been funded with grant money obtained from the state with City of Sparta only providing a small portion of matching funds. The mayor said he expects Phase III to begin in 2007.

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