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Council OKs park renovation projects

Xavier Smith • Sep 5, 2017 at 8:07 PM

The Lebanon City Council approved park renovations at Don Fox Community Park on Tuesday and started the process to repair Hobbs Field during its bi-weekly meeting.

The council approved a budget amendment for the Don Fox Park renovation project to add $50,000 for the project. The body authorized $500,000 for the project last year. 

David Hale, Don Fox renovation committee chairman, presented the plans to the council last month. The proposed playground is designed to accommodate children with and without special needs.

The playground would feature swing sets for children in wheelchairs, as well as special shaded areas with musical devices for children to play. Due to special hybrid material used to build it, the proposed playground would be less expensive to maintain than the wooden one currently in use.

Hale said one main goal of the renovations is to keep the castle frontage that has become synonymous with the park. 

“We, as a committee, want to keep the castle area up front just because it was a signature of this park,” Hale said earlier this year. “We’re very interested in making sure that we keep some of the original look of it. This was an amazing undertaking 22 years ago.”

Don Fox Community Park opened in May 1995. Hundreds of volunteers, including Cumberland University Kappa Sigma fraternity members and Lebanon High School athletes, worked for a week to complete the 200,000-square-feet stockade playground in the park.

The council also began the process to create the Elmer Elkins Hobbs Field Task Force to oversee renovations at Hobbs Field. 

“Hobbs area is an area that has pretty much been neglected in my time in the city, and I think we should give that some attention,” Councilor Rob Cesternino said.

Councilor Rick Bell agreed with Cesternino. 

“That has been neglected. It used to be a nice recreational area, and it needs to go back that way. I agree we need to work and make that happen, because I feel it’s an area that really needs it,” Bell said.

Cesternino and Councilor Chris Crowell will nominate two members to serve on the task force, along with Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash. The names of appointees will be submitted to Ash by Oct. 3. 

The task force will meet no less than once a month until the park master plan is completed. 

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