By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS – The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board toured the nearly completed first phase athletic complex on Knight's Way Tuesday evening.
"This is awesome, man. I'm excited," said Marc Janusz, board member, just after getting into fenced-in the walkways that lead past the outfields and to the concession stand, dugout and a seating area.
Jerry Bark, Harker Heights Parks and Recreation director, led the tour, giving the board facts such as information about the sod and that the fields were laser-leveled at a 1 percent slope.
They stood in the middle of one of the four 300-foot ballfields, and discussed how the bases could be moved back for various ages.
They then walked into the concession area featuring a three-window stand, bathrooms, and areas for sitting on bleachers and placing lawn chairs.
"I love all the trash cans," said Ursula Pirtle, board alternate, walking around the concession area. "I am so anti-litter and when I can't find a place to put something, it is so frustrating."
The tour continued to a playground area surrounded by live oak trees which provide natural shade for the area.
"Look at this thing," Janusz said, inspecting the playground. "I wish I was 12
It has a 2- to 5-year-old play unit, a 5-to-12 play unit, swings, a climbing rock and is surrounded by cut large square stones.
"There are no benches inside the area, but parents can sit on the rocks and watch their children," Bark said.
Close to the playground is also a small open field with a few picnic tables and more restrooms.
The tour continued on the walking trail that wrapped around the playground, then along a hillside that overlooked the fields.
"Man, those walkers are really going to be in shape," said Milton Mize, board member, as he stretched his legs to move down the side of the hill on the paved trail.
After seeing the park, the board asked about its opening date.
Bark hopes to have the keys in late March and to host a grand opening in April, he said.
All the attending board members were excited to see the park and about what it meant for Harker Heights.
"There is a lot of emphasis on baseball and softball, but really it is for all ages," Pirtle said.
They looked forward to the city hopefully providing facilities just as good in the future, they said.
"Is is going to be an activity center for the residents," said Darrel Charlton, board member. "This is just a start for other activities for families to do."
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554.