The Pryor Times

September 14, 2013

Sprucing up Pryor’s public park

Cydney Baron
Staff Reporter

PRYOR, OK — Pryor’s Whitaker Park will see repairs and new features soon.

At their meeting Monday, Pryor City Council approved several projects that will change the usability of the park.

The eight outdoor tennis courts will be upgraded and repaired and any necessary nets, center straps and cranks will be replaced.

The cost of the tennis court upgrade is $8,000. Council member Greg Rosamond clarified that they intend to patch the courts as necessary, not completely re-surface them.

“Yes, there will always be water on those courts because of the concrete. These [repairs] will help but some of that water will always be there,” said Mayor Jimmy Tramel.

On the opposite end of the park, the basketball court will receive a makeover as well. The council agenda says the courts will receive an overlay “with one tone royal blue Decco surface and National High School Federation playing lines.”  

The council approved seeking bids for replacement of the volleyball court fencing.

Frank Powell of the Pryor Park Department said the park crews will be responsible for removing the old fencing and installing the new but that the rest of the projects will be hired out.

Tramel said they also intend to turn the croquet/horseshoe area into a splash pad. Across the street by the city pool, they plan to build an amphitheater.

“The splash pad was not really a budgeted item so we’re playing it by ear. It’s something the public seems to want but there is a lot involved in the project,” said Powell.

Powell said the project has hit a few hiccups already but that they are still looking into it.

“We’ve had a splash pad guy come and look at it. Once we tell him what we want to spend he will design something that fits our budget,” said Powell. “We can make it pretty plain to start with then add the exciting features — tip buckets, palm trees, etc., as budget allows in the future.”

The splash pad  is essentially a concrete pad that requires plumbing, valves and regulators. The fixtures must meet code regulations and the entire splash pad must meet safety regulations.

Powell said that the splash pad and amphitheater are both projects that have been talked about for years now.

“The amphitheater is something we’ve talked about. Jimmy recently showed me a picture of what he has in mind. He’s wanting it down by the pool, where the backstop is,” said Powell.

The amphitheater, Powell said, is essentially a stage covered by an arched roof with tiered seating. The structure would need to meet floodplain regulations as well as city ordinance and safety requirements.

Outside the meeting Rosamond said he thinks park improvements are crucial for the city.

“As a community, one of the most important things we can do is continue to invest in projects that improve the quality of life for our citizens. I believe having a top-notch park system is a crucial piece of that puzzle. Our parks serve as a gathering place for family and even community activities,” said Rosamond.

He said having quality facilities, enjoyable activities and the ability to host special events or gatherings is a tremendous asset to the community.

“Over the years we have done a good job of investing in our infrastructure, our park system included, and that commitment has to remain. In addition to providing benefits for its current citizens,” Rosamond continued. “The City of Pryor also needs to be able to recruit new businesses and employees to our community. In order to do that we must be willing to show we are a family-friendly community, we are forward thinking, and we are willing to invest in ourselves. Having a park system that is second to none accomplishes all of those goals.”