Nets and pets in London

(Posted May 2, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Coming soon to London: a lighted sand volleyball court and a dog park.

The volleyball court will be located next to the city swimming pool. The city recently purchased the lot at 386 Hawthorne Ave., now home to a vacant church. Mayor Patrick Closser said the plan is to tear down the church, fence the lot, and install the volleyball court, lighting, and an outdoor rinse shower.

“I hope to have the church down and the lot fenced-in by Memorial Day which is the day the pool opens,” he said. “After opening the pool, we can continue to work on the rest of the project.”

The goal is to have the court finished by late June or early July.

A $100,000 donation from an anonymous donor is covering the cost of the project. The city plans to use any leftover money to install a water feature at the pool by the 2019 swimming season.

The same donor gave the city $30,000 last year, also for improvements at the pool. That money was used for concrete work and installation of new diving boards, steps into the main pool and racing pool, and permanent squirt guns in the shallow end.

“I cannot thank the donor enough for seeing the importance of the municipal pool and stepping up to help us improve it,” Closser said, adding that the city plans to recognize the donor at a ribbon-cutting once the volleyball court is done.

As for the dog park, city officials are leaning toward locating it on the west side of State Route 38 (Elm Street), just north of London Middle School and Keny Boulevard. The city owns a 4.8-acre parcel there; the park would occupy a small portion.

“We’ve had people ask if we’d ever look into getting a dog park. There’s been a lot of talk about it on social media,” Closser said. “We felt it would be a good thing for the community. There aren’t a lot of places you can take dogs off leash and let them run.”

City council set aside money for the park in the 2018 parks and recreation budget. Closser estimates the project will cost $15,000 to $20,000. The plan is to fence a 300×200-foot area, split into two sections. One-third would be for small dogs and two-thirds for large dogs. A gravel parking lot also is planned.

Closser said a dog group from Choctaw Lake has expressed interest in helping with development of the park, including donating funds.

“We’re getting bids now for fencing. It shouldn’t take that long (to complete) once we go with a fencing company,” he said.

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