JUSTIN SELLERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Noah Wilson, owner of Waterfront Construction, of Ferriday, operates a backhoe while he and his employees drive pylons into the ground for a pier being built in Polk Park at the municipal complex in Vidalia Thursday.
JUSTIN SELLERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Noah Wilson, owner of Waterfront Construction, of Ferriday, operates a backhoe while he and his employees drive pylons into the ground for a pier being built in Polk Park at the municipal complex in Vidalia Thursday.

Second phase of Vidalia city park to be complete by end of year

Published 12:04am Friday, August 23, 2013

VIDALIA — Vidalia’s city park reached 15 percent completion this month with the start of the second phase of construction.

The park, located just west of the Vidalia Municipal Complex, has a projected cost of $2.5 million and is funded through grants and city funds.

JUSTIN SELLERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT —Henry Wilson, an employee of J.F. Davis Masonry, lays bricks for a concession stand at the tennis courts at the municipal complex in Vidalia Thursday.
JUSTIN SELLERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT —Henry Wilson, an employee of J.F. Davis Masonry, lays bricks for a concession stand at the tennis courts at the municipal complex in Vidalia Thursday.

The park’s construction is broken up into five phases. Phase one’s construction wrapped up last October and included three basketball courts, tennis court lighting and restrooms.

The city secured a $250,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund and matched it with $250,000 in city funds to complete the second phase.

The second phase includes building a pier for a man-made pond, winding sidewalks, a concession stand and volleyball courts.

Grants coordinator Teresa Dennis said phase two should be complete by the end of 2013, but the entire project won’t be complete until 2017.

“Things are moving along on schedule, about what we expected,” Dennis said. “I think I’m most excited about the pier. They are driving the pilings for the pier now, you can actually see the direction it will go.”

The city hasn’t secured funding for phase three, but construction is scheduled to begin next summer.

JUSTIN SELLERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Dytrailus Jackson, an employee of J.F. Davis Masonry, cleans up brickwork for a concession stand being built at the tennis courts at the municipal complex in Vidalia Thursday.
JUSTIN SELLERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Dytrailus Jackson, an employee of J.F. Davis Masonry, cleans up brickwork for a concession stand being built at the tennis courts at the municipal complex in Vidalia Thursday.

Phase three will include landscaping and initial construction of a large spray park.

“We do have the spray park on the Vidalia Riverfront,” Dennis said. “This will be a larger, more interactive spray park.”

City officials haven’t decided on exact details for the final two phases. Instead, Dennis said she wants ideas from Vidalia residents.

Ideas for the park have already come pouring in, the most intriguing of which is a zip line, she said.

“The gifted class at Vidalia Junior High made some drawings of what they would like to see and they came up with a zip-line,” she said. “I don’t know if it will happen, but it is interesting.”

Dennis said she is also interested in a handicap-accessible playground and a court for wall ball — a game that requires players to throw a ball against a wall and catch it before the ball’s second bounce.

Parks and Recreation Director Johnny Hoffpauir said the park would be a complete recreation package, once finished.

“It is going to take a couple more years and a few more phases before everything is complete, but I think this is a great thing for the city,” Hoffpauir said. “I was a teacher for a while, and I can definitely agree that there hasn’t been much for kids to do in the city. The park will improve the overall quality of life and have things for all ages.”