Partnership makes softball complex upgrade possible

Bartholomew County’s largest softball complex has new, expanded restrooms, in part due to a large donation from the Columbus Area Visitors Center.

The Bartholomew County Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to pay Driftwood Builders $17,584 as the county’s share for the $167,584 restroom renovations at Dunn Stadium, located off State Road 11 just north of the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The Columbus Area Visitors Center picked up $150,000 of the tab, commissioners chairman Carl Lienhoop said.

That’s because the stadium brings in more than 26,000 visitors each year for softball and baseball games, county parks board member Kris Medic said.

Due largely to the Visitors Center promotion of sports tourism, the stadium provides an estimated economic impact of $3.2 million in local spending, Medic said.

With four lighted diamonds, concession stands, playground and shelter houses, the latest addition to the Dunn Stadium area is a BMX bike track.

Recent improvements at Dunn also include the installation of a new $1,400 sidewalk, Lienhoop said. It was constructed at the request of the Bartholomew County Code Enforcement office following an inspection, he said.

The Bartholomew County Parks Board is responsible for managing and maintaining 12 facilities that include Anderson Falls and parks located in smaller communities.

The county parks system has recently taken a significant step towards upgrading its facilities.

A new Bartholomew County Parks Foundation has been created with a task of accepting and managing tax-deductible gifts and donations. The foundation will allow donors to select areas of interest such as projects, youth scholarships and the endowment fund.

Donation envelopes are available from park board members, the Bartholomew County Commissioners’ office, and the Purdue Extension Bartholomew County office.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.