Paul Porter Park to be improved

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 4, 2024

Stairs to be replaced, new shelter to be built

COAL GROVE — For those missing the steps at Paul Porter Park, don’t worry, they will be coming back.

And there will be another shelter built soon.

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Coal Grove Mayor Andy Holmes said Hemmings Construction was awarded the grant to build the steps and the shelter. The funds are coming from a Community Development Block Grant that the Ironton Lawrence County Community Action Organization received for the village.

“It’s in the neighborhood of $148,000 and we are going to build a new 20-foot by 40-foot shelter and a new set of stairs coming up the hillside,” Holmes said. “It is going to have a concrete base and will be Amish made, so it is similar to the ones Ironton recently put in their park and I think South Point has one in their park.”

The park already has two shelters that are in constant use.

“We do reservations for the large shelter and, man, it is used four days a week this time of year until October,” Holmes said. “The other shelter is first come, first served and the new one will be first come, first served.”

The old stairs were taken out last year, since they were rotting and become a danger. The steps were originally put in sometime in the early 1980s.

“Those stairs just became structurally unsound. There was a lot of rot in the support beams that hold the stairs up and the previous mayor decided to have both sets of steps out of concern for the public,” Holmes said, adding he inspected them and the posts were rotted at the ground. “The stairs were just sitting on a rotted base.”

There will only be one set of stairs put in, since the cost will be around $45,000.

“The prices have definitely gone up, so we are just going with one set of stairs,” Holmes said. “We are hoping to get 30-40 years out of the new one.”

Holmes said next on the list of improvements is refurbishing the bathrooms.

“We need to get the bathrooms in better shape,” he said. “That’s a hot spot for vandalism in the winter months, so we are constantly having to remodel and replace things in there.”

Holmes said Paul Porter Park is used quite a lot and has activities like the recent Easter egg hunt and Family Fun Days. He said a new event is being added this year.

“It is going to be called Lift A Life Day at the park,” Holmes said, adding they are still working out details for the July 27 event. “It is going to be a community event, inspired by Todd Blankenship, a Coal Grove resident who died in 2022. He was well known in the community for going above and beyond to help people. “He meant so to our community. His wife, Tomi, came up with this concept. Todd always said ‘Try to lift a life every day, so we took that concept and turn it into an event as somewhat of a memorial to his life.’”