Cypress Park, ballpark nearly ready for construction

MORGAN CITY — Work on Cypress Park and the accompanying baseball park in Morgan City should be ready to be awarded by the city council’s August meeting.

Lucien Cutrera of LJC Poole Inc in Baton Rouge delivered the news to the Morgan City Mayor and Council and presented them with artist renderings for immediate and long-term plans for the property.

Much of the work — $427,950 — will be complete with funding from the H&B Young Foundation, while other tasks that can be done in-house will be complete by city crews.

Of the H&B Young monies, $160,450 will be allocated to the new baseball field adjacent to Complex Park, while the remaining $267,500 will be used on Cypress Park, the former Morgan City Swamp Gardens.

The remaining work at both facilities will be complete as monies become available.

The project was put out for bid on Monday and all bids will be received by Aug. 18. City officials said a contractor would be selected by the Aug. 22 council meeting.

Plans for the baseball field will include the construction of a 200-foot field but no press box.

“We don’t have funding to cover the press box,” Cutrera said. “What was important to the city was that we get a field that can be used immediately.”

The field would be available for nighttime games, too, Cutrera said.

Parking also will be moved from the First Baptist Church parking lot to the area between the current Complex Park and the Morgan City Public Pool.

To encourage parking here, the entrance to the new ballpark will be placed near the right-field line of the existing park, Complex Park and the current Victor II Boulevard entrance across from the church will be fenced in.

Construction is expected to be complete in 90 days.

The baseball complex would be connected to Cypress Park with a paved walkway behind the outfield fence of the new field.

Plans for Cypress Park call for a passive park, including a gazebo for weddings and other events, historical markers explaining Morgan City’s history and possible accompanying sculptures and a walking trail, meant to connect the park’s different attractions as well as for light exercise.

The perimeter of the trail is about a quarter mile long, while walking the inside “figure 8” path at the park would be about a third of a mile long.

Funding is available to construct a trail, complete light landscaping, install benches and trash receptacles and erect the gazebo and fence.

The fence would feature brick columns and imitation wrought iron. Cutrera noted that Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement for the fence is possible.

Initial construction is expected to last about 120 days.

Future work would includes the installation of an exercise station, playground equipment and lighting.

The 12 markers documenting Morgan City’s history, Cutrera said, could be paid for — along with the sculptures — through donations from the community.

“The idea is you can walk in and have a bus load of children, tourists (or) our own citizens look at it and see art and see the history,” Cutrera said.

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