Volunteers not just playing around
The work of Tonganoxie volunteers is showing strong.
On Saturday, the park on North Main Street bustled with activity as workers laid electrical lines, constructed a frame for two sand volleyball courts, smoothed the surface and installed a weed barrier in preparation for this week's planned delivery of sand.
Across the road at the high school football field, windows have been installed by volunteers in the new announcer's stand and much of the structure is now enclosed. It's first planned use will be May 19 during a regional track meet.
Early Sunday morning at VFW Park, VFW members Bo Himpel and Larry Meadows stopped by to check out the brickwork being done at the shelter house.
Meadows said the shelter house's 16 support poles will be enclosed by bricks.
Chris Donnelly, one of the recreation commission members working Saturday on the sand volleyball court, said about $3,000 to $5,000 worth of sand, costing $5 per ton, will be delivered this week.
He expects the court to be ready for use soon.
Other work in progress at the North Main Street park is the construction of two tennis courts.
"Larry Meadows has already started work on the tennis courts, building the base," Donnelly said. "And they've already poured a basketball court that will have six goals."
"The goals are here in town and we're waiting to have them put up," said Mark Zerrer director of the recreation commission. There will also be six pieces of exercise equipment installed along the park trail. Three soccer fields are in the works, too.
Ken Mark, chairman of the recreation commission, said the largest of the soccer fields will be regulation size and will include an underground irrigation system.
The recreation commission plans to have the largest soccer field this coming fall.
Mark said because most of the labor is being done by volunteers, they have been able to keep costs down.Community National Bank, which donated about an acre of land where the sand volleyball courts are, also donated $10,000 to the recreation commission.
In addition to the athletic areas, a playground and walk bridge were installed last summer and a one-half mile long sidewalk encircles the area. Newest areas of the sidewalk link up with the VFW Park across the street to the south, making the total walking trail about 1 1/4 miles long.
"So it's a pretty good hike if you walk through both parks," Zerrer said.
Future projects at the Main Street park include paving the parking lot, placing benches along the trail, building horseshoe pits and planting trees and flowers.
The entire park, including parking, covers about 10 acres.
"It's going to be a tight squeeze to get all that in there," Zerrer said, "But with the soccer fields, it will give it some added green space."