PDT Staff Writer
Two years ago, then Mayor Jane Murray stood next to a completely gutted concession stand, a destroyed ballfield, and grass three feet high, in what had been Rose Street Park in Sciotoville. She had gathered there with members of the Sciotoville Community and vowed to see it restored.
Now, if you visit that same park, you will see a beautiful Tartan blue and grey concessions building, playground equipment for kids to climb on and bring laughter back into the atmosphere and a baseball field that begs for some ground balls and home runs.
Portsmouth City Mayor David A. Malone and Community Development Department Director Tracy Shearer proudly announced Friday the City of Portsmouth has completed the renovation of the Rose Street Park facility in Sciotoville.
Shearer, who supervised the project on behalf of Malone and the City of Portsmouth, said materials for the project were purchased with Community Development Block Grant monies granted to the City of Portsmouth by the Ohio Department of Development.
“The park is now finished and open for the public’s enjoyment,” Malone said. “Improvements made to Rose Street Park include upgrades to the ball fields, new playground equipment, and structural renovations to the concession area, new restrooms, an extended parking space and an overall make over in appearance. The park was once the subject of litter and vandalism but now displays a clean and healthy site for the community to utilize.”
Shearer attributes the completion of the project to what she terms, “The remarkable cooperation within City departments. Bill Beaumont (Service Department), Rick Duncan (Waste Water), Sam Sutherland (Water Filtration), and Crystal Weghorst (Engineering) made it possible for the park to obtain new water lines, sewer pumps, excavation work in addition to numerous other improvements.”
Malone added to the list of people responsible for the park’s turnaround.
“The City would also like to recognize the contributions made by Portsmouth Municipal Court Judges Steven Mowery and Judge Russell Kegley, who were instrumental in helping coordinate the efforts of community service workers to help with painting, debris/trash/brush removal, fence installation and repair, and ball field renovations,” Malone said.
The community service workers were under the supervision of Chief Probation Officer Mark Malone and Probation Officer Kyle McCain. They spent approximately three months at Rose Street Park working off their fines while improving the community for local residents.
“The completion of the park could not have been accomplished without these efforts,” Shearer said.
Shearer also said that in addition to their official duties overseeing community service workers, Malone and McCain both donated personal time to the parks upgrade when off-duty.
Four Portsmouth City Fire Department personnel - Captain Eric Green, Assistant Chief Bobby Long, and Fire Fighters Josh Sherman and Jon Wisener - also contributed a Saturday of their personal time helping in structural renovations to the building at Rose Street Park.
“Because of the exemplary volunteer efforts of these and other city employees, the park is now complete and open to the public,” Malone said.
Shearer also spotlighted the contributions and volunteerism from Professional Engineer Tony Lauro, who donated his time and talent to drawing up the plans for the park, and cited the Newville Little League for their willingness and follow-through to help at any time with any given request.
“The City would like to extend their gratitude to the Ohio Department of Development and to the community of Sciotoville for their patience and support in helping the City complete this project. “ Malone said.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org