The city of Bessemer held a sledgehammer/groundbreaking event on Tuesday, April 15 to celebrate the start of a planned renovation of Roosevelt Park and construction of the city’s first-ever Recreational and Wellness Facility.
The event was held at the site of the former James A. Davis Middle School. The school building is being demolished as part of the first phase of the renovation project.
On hand for the event were Mayor Kenneth E. Gulley, members of the Bessemer City Council, Architect Charles Williams, Sr. of Charles Williams and Associates of Birmingham, and Walter Howlett, of the A.G. Gaston/SARCOR Program Management team.
The Reverend C.D. Patterson of Second Avenue Beulah Baptist Church in Bessemer gave the invocation and blessing of the project. Patterson is the longest serving pastor in the city of Bessemer.
The program included comments from Mayor Gulley, Council President Sarah Belcher, Williams and Howlett.
The proposed 55,000-square foot Recreational Facility is expected to be bid later this year. The demolition of Davis School will take approximately 60 to 90 days and is being done by Meredith Environmental.
The Recreational Facility is expected to open in Spring of 2016. The Recreational Facility is one of two major building projects the city is doing this year. The city is also building a new City Hall building at the corner of Third Avenue North and 17thStreet in downtown Bessemer. That project is slated to begin later this summer.
A Public Comment/Presentation of the proposed park program will be held on April 29 at 6 p.m. at the Bessemer City Hall Auditorium.
Current proposals call for the 55,000-square foot Recreational Facility to be built and front Highway 150. The rest of the park will be dedicated to baseball fields, a walking track, a picnic pavilion, amphitheater, tennis courts and basketball courts.
The city of Bessemer has partnered with the Alabama Forestry Commission to host a Tree Seedling Give-away on April 17.
The give-away will last from 10 a.m. until about noon at the Bessemer City Hall Auditorium. The AFC is bringing tree seedlings that are native to Alabama to the event.
The trees are free. The trees will be species native to Alabama such as Shumard Oaks, Bald Cypress, Blackgum and Eastern Red Bud and Flowering Dogwood.
According to the agency, the 75,000 seedlings provided in the giveaway were grown last year and purchased from Wallace State Community College’s Hopper Nursery in Hanceville.
“We all need trees,” said Dan Jackson, Alabama’s Acting State Forester. “They provide a multitude of environmental, economic and social benefits to the communities and citizens of Alabama. It’s our hope that more families across the state will take part in this celebration and share the joy of planting trees,” Jackson added.
The city of Bessemer is requesting federal, state and county aid in resolving flooding issues along Valley Creek. The city’s Pipe Shop community was recently hit by flooding during heavy rains on the night/morning of April 7. About 30 residents had to be evacuated from their houses and several houses were flooded by the floodwaters.
The City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution asking state and federal agencies for help in resolving the flooding problems. The United States Army Corp of Engineers has jurisdiction over Valley Creek and has in times past dredged the creek to alleviate flooding in Bessemer.
The City of Bessemer is seeking highly motivated youth between the ages of 14 and 18 to support local businesses, organizations, and governmental offices for summer employment.
Responsibilities vary according to assigned locations upon hire. Students must completely adhere to the application requirements as a part of the selection process. A base compensation of $7.25 per hour for 25 hours per week is allotted for each individual hired.
Summer employment extends for six weeks beginning June 9, 2014.
A holiday break is included during the week of the Fourth of July.
Interested persons may pick up an application from their local school or Bessemer City Hall.
All applications must be returned to Bessemer City Middle School, Bessemer City High School, or Bessemer City Hall no later than April 22, 2014 by 3:30 p.m. in order to be considered. Telephone calls will not be accepted concerning employment. Applicants will be notified about their selection for hire by approved personnel.