The Royal Palm Beach Recreation Advisory Board heard updates Monday on the status of capital improvements from Parks & Recreation Director Lou Recchio.
Recchio said that Field 5 at the Bob Marcello Baseball Complex has been on the capital improvement books for several years and is now near completion. It is the larger and older field there, and has gone through extensive restoration.
“We have pretty much finished the construction of the field. The pathway is still being worked on a little bit, the final touches, and the tennis courts have been totally redone,” Recchio said, noting that the project was paid for with grant money. “We are in the final phase where we should have substantial completion within the next 30 days.”
The field will be open for play in the spring baseball season in February. In the meantime, the village has made arrangements for the 14- and 15-year-old kids to play at the county’s Seminole Palms Park on Lamstein Lane. “At least they don’t have to go too far to play,” he said.
Recreation Advisory Board Chair John Riordan said he thought that the teams were using the Royal Palm Beach High School field across the street from Field 5, and Recchio said they sent them out there on Saturday, but the field was not in good shape.
“We’re backing off of that, and we’re going over to Seminole Palms,” Recchio said, adding that the field is an appropriate size for that age group. “They have a full array of fields from T-ball all the way up to high school.”
He said there are no other issues, except they would have to play after 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays because the fields are already leased out to other organizations.
“At least we have fields, so the kids aren’t going to be left out,” Recchio said. “It’s only for the fall season. Come spring, the regular season, we’ll be ready for them at Marcello.”
On Oct. 12, the village will open bids for the new amphitheater at Royal Palm Beach Commons Park. “We’re all excited about that,” Recchio said.
The amphitheater will be built on the south side of the Great Lawn where there are existing restrooms.
“In front of that, we have a small pavilion,” he said. “That pavilion is going to be removed, and the amphitheater will go in its place. It will be totally accessible. There will be a walkway going from the perimeter of the Great Lawn. It will come down in front of the amphitheater, which will be sloped in front with brick pavers to match the rest of the surface.”
The amphitheater will have two green rooms for entertainers. “Right now, anytime we have groups to entertain, we put them in a tent,” he said. “We’ll be doing away with the tents, and they’ll be in an air-conditioned facility.”
Part of the project is the addition of two restrooms near the middle of the great lawn on both the east and west sides.
“That has been an issue that we’ve had since we opened the park, that there weren’t enough restrooms,” Recchio said. “Kids, if they were out on the great lawn or the playground, they had quite a way to go to use the facilities, so we’re addressing that.”
He said the estimated time of completion is July 4.
“That’s what was told [bidders] when we first put this out,” he said. “Once we award the bid, we’ll have a better handle on it, but they are aware that that’s our target.”
Recchio said that in the long run, the amphitheater and related improvements will save the village a lot of money.
“We keep renting these stages, and we won’t have to do that anymore,” he said.