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Photo Courtesy of Adam Clayton

Southside Park renovated for new season

By Michael Butler

Renovations are complete as new seasons begin at Southside Park for baseball and softball next week.

New bleachers, some with seatbacks, as well as two new press boxes have been added to the complex.

"The original design was to move the bleachers from the baseball over to softball, but the bleacher company said we can put new bleachers in for the same cost of moving the old ones," Tallassee City Schools superintendent Wade Shipman said. "Now if you go down to the Babe Ruth fields, you'll see those bleachers. We donated those to the city."

The improvements do not stop at the ball fields. The entire complex has gotten an upgrade.

"It's looking good down there. We've added some cement and paved the parking area," Shipman added.

Glen Baggett, who once served as superintendent of the school system, chipped in to help with the work.

"Mr. Baggett helped us rework our drainage. There's going to be a lot of things that are better in terms of setting water or mud. We've even improved drainage on the field."

A ticket booth is now positioned at the gated entry to the park.

"Coach (Adam) Clayton brought to our attention that he saw something similar to that design. We listened to coaches and people in the community," Shipman noted. "The purpose of parking inside the fence is for coaches, officials and handicapped."

The New Softball Press Box
Photo by Stephen Osborne

Both teams have added indoor hitting facilities in recent years.

"The goal is to eventually put in a new concession stand as well. We have a need for a small fieldhouse structure that will be a joint facility for concessions and locker rooms."

There are 94 chairback seats at the baseball facility that are being sold by the baseball boosters for the full season as reserved seating.

"The work we're doing at the baseball and softball fields is about giving our kids the best resources we can, so that's not going to stand in our way of being successful," Shipman concluded.

Tallassee opens its baseball season at Southside vs. Central of Clay County on Monday, Feb. 20 with the junior varsity playing at 4:30 p.m. followed by the varsity game. The softball Tigers open the home slate with JV and varsity games on Tuesday, Feb. 21 starting at 4:30 p.m.

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