Sports court improvements progressing at Campbell Park
You may have noticed some construction taking place at Campbell Park in St. Helens.
The park's sports courts are undergoing a facelift to correct past deficiencies, notably soggy conditions.
According to the city, soil stabilization work will help ensure the longevity of the new sports courts once they are installed. The idea is to build concrete slabs that the courts will be installed on.
The Campbell Park sports court project, paid for in part by a $187,024 grant from Oregon Parks and Recreation, will expand parking at the park, install new sports courts, and improve stormwater facilities and ADA access.
To date, work includes demolition of the old sports courts, removal of area vegetation and construction of a new culvert to prepare for a parking lot expansion.
Sue Nelson, St. Helens' city engineer, said, "When the whole project is done, there will be new sports courts constructed out there across the parking lot from where the softball fields are right now."
Weather and terrain have taken their toll at the popular St. Helens city park for years.
"The existing courts had very uneven surfaces that we had tried to repair," Nelson said. "The ground underneath it was kind of soggy, which is why we had to do the soil amendment process."
Nelson said the courts were thought to have been constructed in an area meant to retain stormwater, but maintenance crews soon found that water would build up under the courts and even on top of the courts, depending on weather conditions.
Nelson doesn't have an estimate for when the new sports courts will be completed.
"It's very difficult to say, because there has been a lot of material delays because of COVID-related issues," Nelson said. "The contractor has materials on order to complete the courts, so they will be doing the slab work in September."
Nelson continued, "When the actual courts will be able to be installed is totally dependent right now on being able to obtain the materials that were ordered weeks ago — they can't give us a delivery date for those materials. We are at the mercy of these manufacturers for this very specific material to install the surfacing."
Whenever the project is finished, Nelson is looking forward to Campbell Park getting a new look.
"It's going to be a great new improvement over there," Nelson said. "You're going to have seven pickleball courts, a brand new tennis court and a futsal court, which the city does not currently have."
Resembling soccer, futsal is played on a hard court surface.
Residents will also be able to enjoy basketball.
"The basketball court will be available for the community to use anytime during park hours," Nelson said.
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