Bocce ball was the main topic of discussion at the April meeting of the Hot Springs Village recreation committee.
Several bocce enthusiasts attended the meeting to hear the latest news about new courts. Outdoor recreation manager Charlie Brown talked about a timeline by saying the department is currently working on design plans and cost analysis.
Finalization of a construction schedule is also underway and the courts footprint has been flagged. Brown sees the project completed, hopefully, in August.
As for a site, the area south of the current lawn bowling location at DeSoto Park has been chosen.
Five courts will be installed. Current courts are 10 by 95 feet, but the new courts will be regulation-sized courts at 13 by 91 feet, which is a requirement of any tournament that may come about because of the new facility.
Brown was praised by attendees and recreation director Stacy Hoover for his work on this and many other projects.
Discussion concerning site location followed. One concern mentioned was that the new courts will be “back in the woods,” thus less visible and not seen nearly as much as if the courts were placed at the DeSoto Recreation area.
Hoover explained that after several previous discussions it was determined that a site at DeSoto Recreation area was not suitable for what was needed for new courts, especially when parking is taken into consideration.
Director Hoover’s monthly report covered many other recreation-related matters including that new maintenance staff has been hired at Coronado Center, Jessieville and Mountain Pine Special Olympics swim training has been completed, chair yoga has been well received, and that an underwater Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for 11 a.m., April 20, at the indoor pool. Cost is $7 and includes the egg hunt and swim time.
At Coronado tennis courts, new irrigation has been installed in the beds being designed by Village Pines Garden Club and staff is working on evaluating costs for lighting and hard-court renovation for capital planning.
The DeSoto Marina is now open seven days a week and the swim platform at Lake DeSoto has been cleaned, repaired, inspected and is being installed at Balboa Beach. Sod has also been laid at DeSoto marina point.
At Ponce de Leon Center/Woodlands, carpet replacement is ongoing with bids being requested for the center’s Ouachita Activities Building and Casa de Carta.
Hoover said construction of the new outdoor pool will begin in June and the pool is scheduled to open on April 20, 2020, which is also the 50th anniversary of Hot Springs Village.
New committee members were welcomed by chairperson Donna Aylward and Hoover. The two new members are Serena Gonzales and Jim Betts.
Dave Gati will be leaving the committee after over seven years of service, some of it as committee chair. Aylward and Hoover sincerely thanked him for his many contributions to the Village recreation. Gati thanked the department for all they have accomplished without a lot of money to do so.
New officers were elected for 2019-2020 with Aylward being re-elected as chair, Holly Harck as vice chair and Gonzales as secretary.
The committee meets again at 3 p.m. May 13, at Coronado Community Center.