Construction projects in Beatrice's Hannibal Park are nearing completion.
Hannibal Park has seen many improvements over the past year. The most recent improvement is a playground, parking lot and picnic shelter. Public Properties Director Mark Pethoud said the playground looks like it will be completed in a couple weeks and will meet the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
“Were finishing the sidewalk around the playground for ADA accessibility and once that’s done then the rubber matting will be put in so once that’s done the playground will be complete,” Pethoud said.
The playground is the last to be completed before this phase of improvements are done. City Administrator Tobias Templemeyer said construction of an indoor baseball/softball practice facility will start in the fall.
“This year, you’ll also see the indoor practice facilities built at Hannibal,” Templemeyer said. "That’s a 125 by 50 foot building that’ll be an indoor practice facility for baseball and softball.”
Construction at Hannibal Park is meant to build up more sports tourism, Templemeyer said. Hannibal has been the city’s concern after a 2015 flood prevented use of the Scott Street ball fields for some time.
He said that the floods made city officials realize there needed to be more fields in an area that wasn’t prone to flooding.
“We quickly learned we needed additional ballparks in places that weren’t a flood zone so the most natural site that came in was out at Hannibal Park,” Templemeyer said.
As a result two new fields were built at Hannibal in 2016. Templemeyer said that the new fields have been a success with the players. Teams make comments about how nice the fields are and how they prefer to play there.
“I think the comments we’ve heard from visitors that come to both Hannibal Park and Scott Street Park have been very pleased with the amenities they have and the fields themselves,” Templemeyer said.
According to Pethoud, there have been 10 tournaments hosted at Hannibal and four more to come. In total there have been about 424 teams that come to play at Hannibal this season.