Most of Thursday night's Sedalia Park Board meeting focused on the Heckart Community Center (HCC), the grand opening for which is scheduled for Friday, March 18 at 10 a.m.

The meeting was held in the conference room of the new facility, and in addition to six members of the board, it was attended by one staff member, as well as Sedalia Parks & Rec Director Amy Epple, City Administrator Kelvin Shaw and Mayor John Kehde.

Epple said that the last piece of the puzzle at the HCC is the walking track. “There were a couple of spots that weren't exactly as flat as we'd them to be, so they'll come in Friday (11th) and grind those down a little bit,” Epple told the board. “We knew all along that would be the last piece.”

Epple noted that staff has everything under control. “I'm happy where we're at right now, just a few last-minute things. We're ready for next week, and looking forward to the building being full, and lots of people making memories and improving their quality of life,” she said.

A healthy roster of speakers is scheduled for the dedication ceremony at 10 a.m., in the gym. Epple said that will take about 45 minutes, and then the ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 10:45 a.m., inside near the main entrance.

At 11 a.m., everything kicks into high gear, with the Senior Center serving fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls and cake.

There will be a photo booth in the Party Room from 11 a.m., to 2 p.m.

KC Wolf will be at the Heckart from 11:30 a.m., to 1:30 p.m.

The indoor pool will be open for swimming from 11 a.m., to 8:30 p.m.

There will be open gym volleyball and basketball from 11 a.m., to 9 p.m., and Pickleball on Court 2 from 11 a.m., to 3 p.m.

And there will be open play from 11 a.m., to 8 p.m., in the Kid Zone and Child Watch areas. Parents must supervise their children during this time. There will be no drop-offs on Friday, it was noted.

Epple said that about 70 percent of her and her staff's time is being spent on the HCC.

Beyond that, Parks & Rec is gearing up for youth baseball & softball, getting Liberty and Centennial Pools open, getting batting cages open and painting the new splash pad at Hubbard. The new Liberty Flyer will start running in April.

It was noted that the contractor responsible for netting and padding at Liberty Stadium has become non-responsive to phone calls and emails, and another contractor will be selected ASAP.

Youth baseball sign-ups ended Friday, March 11. Practices begin in April. Cost is $55 per player.

Bathrooms open April 1. (Porta-potties were available at the most baseball recent games at Dey Field).

Epple noted that the slides at both pools are peeling and need to be re-painted. They are under warranty, Epple noted, and will begin March 14.

Parks Project manager Matt Harris met with MC Power on March 2 to discuss upgrading the soccer field lighting at Clover Dell.

Repairs on the Liberty Park Bridge are expected to begin April 1.

Parks & Rec crews have been trimming low-hanging tree limbs in several parks, allowing for a better line of site for visitors, according to Jeff Coleman, maintenance superintendent.

Coleman also noted that "grow tarps" have been used on the girls softball field in an attempt to jump-start the grass seed planted there. SFCC's first home game there is March 31.

Recreation Superintendent Courtney Fry in her report said that she and Jaymi Wells met with Sedalia Fire Inspector Jamie Volk to perfect the safety manual for the Heckart. Suggestions were made for improvement. A mock drill was held Feb. 8 with staff and volunteers to run through various scenarios. The drill went smoothly, but changes and updates were noted.

Rental requests for the HCC opened Feb. 1, with 56 inquiries and 37 confirmations.

As of Feb. 25, there were a total of 372 people signed up for HCC membership, bringing in a total of $50,547.50 at that time.

According to Aquatics Manager Clara Scott, a lifeguard class was held Feb. 19-20 at the HCC. Five new lifeguards were certified to work for Sedalia Parks & Rec. The HCC will offer water therapy, water aerobics and aquafit classes taught by Cindy Atkinson, Renee Freeman and Chris Hewett.

Boy Scout Aaron Bilbruck built and installed horse show pits at Hubbard Park recently.

According to a Parks & Rec facebook post on March 7, “Aaron is part of Troop 66 and completed this project in just a few short months for us. He wanted to make a difference in the community and create something that people could gather and enjoy. Aaron wouldn't (have) been able to do it without the help and donation of supplies from Mid City Lumber Co., Ltd Sedalia store, and Sedalia Rental and Supply for the donation of equipment rental for the project. Thank you Aaron for helping beautify our parks,” the post said.

The Parks & Rec budget was approved by the board.

Parks & Rec plans to hire an IT to be on staff and will discuss that at their April meeting. The public is welcome to attend.

Sedalia Parks & Rec
Sedalia Parks & Rec
Sedalia Parks & Rec
Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

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