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Pompey Park in Delray Beach has long been an institution and landmark in the heart of the city.
A much-desired facelift of the 51-year-old park at 1101 NW Second St. has begun. The city allocated $400,000 to do repairs, including the bathrooms, broken fences and the community center roof.
A full-blown, three-phase renovation and upgrade to the park is planned to begin in 2023. After years of deliberating, the Delray Beach City Commission gave its go-ahead to upgrade and renovate the entire park, which would include two new pools, a new baseball field, playground, basketball courts, more restrooms, a park shelter and parking.
Renée Jadusingh, executive director of the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, said the $400,000 that was already allocated is currently being used for the repairs.
“The Delray Beach CRA allocated the money to do some improvements while waiting for the larger project, including tiling the bathrooms and fixing the roofs,” Jadusingh said. “There has been a larger project planned for years to do a complete upgrade and the city is in the design phase right now. The construction should begin in 2023. It is a three-phase project that will take three fiscal years and the idea is not to displace anybody. It is phased to allow for as little disruption as possible to the users.”
Missie Barletto, public works director, and Jadusingh recently gave a presentation highlighting the design and function of the Pompey Park Master Plan Project.
City Commissioners discussed the possibilities of reconfiguring the design. There was a consensus to allow the design of Pompey Park to remain as originally planned. The cost is estimated at $23 million.
Longtime coach and Delray American League founder Eddie Odom III, whose name is atop the scoreboard on the west field at the park, said he is looking forward to the completion of the renovations. His wife, Yvonne, also was one of the founders of the Little League baseball team.
“Many of us participated during all phases of the process and anxiously await the actual building,” she said. “It’s been a long time. It is only in the planning phase. They have not done anything (yet as far as major work); they just approved funds for planning.”