WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A multi-million dollar upgrade project at South Walton's Helen McCall park is nearly completed, and just in time for football season.
"We were at capacity, we had one field. We had more teams than we had places to play, so this has been in the plans for a while and its all, all the commissioners have been working on this, even before I came into office, so this has been a dream for a while," District 5 Walton County Commissioner Tony Anderson said.
Wednesday, county officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the park improvements.
"It gives the kids something to do. It gets them out of the house. It's a different generation. Kids play video games now instead of playing sports and if we don't have enough facilities for them to participate in, they're not going to get out of the house," Anderson said, "so this builds team bonding, it builds competitiveness and it's just a good, healthy exercise and it's family exercise. Most of the parents are involved either in coaching for working concession stands or on the boards, so this is just a whole community affair."
The $2.2 million project paid for a new press box and concession stand and added another football field.
"We used to have one field and now we have two fields. We've built a new facility behind me for concession and the press box. All of this is brand new. It's just the first phase of our project here. It's public works and our contractors have done a marvelous job. They were under a very tight timeline and they all delivered," Anderson explained.
Officials said the final steps are to move the fields 20 yards farther north and build an access road along the south side, which they hope to have complete by next year.
"We will be ready to go for the first game and we're all real excited about it. The little leagues and football league and soccer leagues are just all extremely excited to have this nice of a facility to play on," Anderson added.