By Eric Wright, City of Gadsden Communications
and Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The City of Gadsden recently finished an extensive project at the Gadsden City High School softball complex located on Black Creek Road.
The complex’s new scoring tower and concession stand received funding from the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council, which contributed $20,000 to the project. State Rep. Craig Ford also was instrumental in allocating the funding for the project. With the support of State Senator Phil Williams, Ford gave an additional $10,000 to the project through the Etowah County Community Development fund.
“Sherman and Shane and the council were all on board with this project,” said Ford. “This is a big deal, because at the old press box, the announcer and person who was scoring the game couldn’t see half the field. The workers at the old concession stand, and that’s parents of the players, couldn’t see what was going on. There’s also a new P.A. system, which will really help out. I also want to thank the RC&D for partnering up. They’ve helped us with projects all over Etowah County. Projects like this one wouldn’t be possible without partnerships. The RC&D takes a funded dollar and turns it into 10 dollars, and that’s the way we have to do things these days.”
“On behalf of the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council, we really do appreciate Rep. Ford and the city for supporting us so we can continue to do great projects like this one,” said Coosa Valley RC&D executive director Eddie May. “We couldn’t do what we do without their support.”
State Rep. Becky Nordgren giving another $5,000 from that same fund. The project was executed by the City of Gadsden. Labor to build the facility was provided by City of Gadsden Facilities Maintenance crews.
“This field has been here probably close to 70 years, and for the longest time there wasn’t girls softball,” said Guyton. “The girls needed an upgraded facility, so we talked with Craig and he talked with some folks in Montgomery, and this is what we got. I think it’s going to be a really good thing.”
“The girls deserved this and the people of District 6 deserved this,” said Councilman Johnny Cannon. “We appreciate everything that Rep. Ford has done for us.”
The new concession stand and scoring tower will greatly improve the experience for teams using the softball field. The GCHS softball team uses the field as its home ballpark, while the City of Gadsden hosts tournaments at the facility.
“Our girls come out here every day and work hard, and it’s nice to give them something to kind of call their own,” said GCHS head softball coach Corbin Holland. “It’s nice for them to see some results of what they’re doing. Now, visiting teams will come here and see that we’ve got one of the best facilities around.”
Improvements to the scoring tower include space for officials, media, coaches and scorekeepers. The concession stand will offer refreshments for spectators and fundraising opportunities for team supporters.
“The upgrades to this facility is huge for our girls, because it matches the facilities of some of the larger schools around the state,” said GCHS Principal Keith Blackwell. “When you upgrade a facility, it brings a lot of excitement to that program, and that trickles down to the middle and elementary school kids, which is great for our younger girls.”