Engleman Park to be showplace for Sweetwater

Work is well underway on a new pavilion and splash pad, along with other improvements, for Engleman Park in Sweetwater. This picture shows the ongoing work for the new pavilion.

If you have noticed lots of work going on at Sweetwater’s popular Engleman Park, the end result is going to be worth the wait, city officials say.

During the May 6 Sweetwater Mayor and Board of Commissioners meeting, commissioners approved Merit Construction and Great Southern Recreation’s bid for the latest project that will build a new pavilion and a large splash pad at the park. Work began a few days later and has progressed well in the hot and dry weather before this past weekend’s rain.

“All this is for the families and children,” City Parks and Recreation Commission Director Lamar Hughes said.

Hughes, Recreation Director Tim Crawford and other city officials feel it is imperative to provide citizens with first-class parks and recreation facilities to add to the quality of life for the community and keep children busy with something fun to do.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) had previously presented the City of Sweetwater with a $353,000 grant check for a continuation of phased upgrades at Engleman Park. The grant check is part of an overall grant program totaling more than $700,000 that will be used to complete Phase Two of the upgrades, which includes a new pavilion, restrooms, parking, and a splash pad all with free admission to the public.

The contract allows for up to 100 days to complete the work.

Even if school starts before the splash pad is completed, warm weather lasts several weeks after the August school start back date.

“We will probably leave it open a little later,” Hughes previously said of the splash pad, depending on the weather.

Hughes said the park is booked all through the summer with reunions and events and adding a new pavilion will be a great benefit to the popular park.

Hughes and his staff say the splash pad will be perfect for the many children that are even just within walking distance of the new pad.

The pad will have recirculated water that will be treated to keep conditions sanitary.

Hughes and Crawford have great confidence in the contractors handling the job.

Kark Beck is overseeing the project for Merit Construction. He said his company works on all kinds of projects with some of them worth more than $50 million. Beck said the new third pavilion at the park is probably located in the best part of Engleman park with lots of shade.

Hughes points out there will be new parking at the park with paved sidewalks connecting everything together. The park is protected by high-resolution security cameras.

It is a very busy summer for the Parks and Recreation Department. In addition to the major Engleman Park work, there is constant mowing and maintenance going on.

Hughes, Crawford and city officials are extremely excited about a state baseball tournament that will bring thousands of visitors to town in mid July.

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