BCBA, volunteers complete Tiger Field bathroom facility work

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 6/2/21

The Belle Community Betterment Association (BCBA) completed $8,027 in renovations to the Belle City Park bathrooms at Tiger Field just in time for spring sports, says President Mark …

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BCBA, volunteers complete Tiger Field bathroom facility work

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The Belle Community Betterment Association (BCBA) completed $8,027 in renovations to the Belle City Park bathrooms at Tiger Field just in time for spring sports, says President Mark McClane.

McClane was present at the Maries R-2 Board of Education meeting on May 25 to thank the board for their support of the project that was funded partially with $4,667 in grant funds from Three Rivers’ Helping Hands Community Foundation and $3,360 in in-kind volunteer labor with support from Maries R-2 and Belle city employees.

“Normally, every time you all have a community member here it is for a complaint,” McClane said as he addressed the board Tuesday night. “I hope this is a pleasant change with a celebration. The project completed is the Tiger Field bathroom, with a new roof and toilets.”

Volunteers with BCBA applied for the grant for the project around April 10.

“The Belle Community Betterment Association (BCBA) is seeking grant funding in order to make repairs to the bathroom facility next to the ballfield located on the east side of the Belle City Park. The bathroom facility is primarily used by the ball teams from Belle and surrounding communities playing at this field, and attendees at the games. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall months, hundreds of children use this bathroom facility during the ballgames, in addition to people attending various functions held at the park.”

BCBA listed the problems with the facility, including poor condition, a hole in the roof, rotting wood from moisture, in need of paint and sanitizing and repairs.

“The BCBA took on this project the first week of April and talked with (Superintendent Dr. Lenice) Basham and the city. It’s done that quick because the community knows how important it is,” McClane said. “We knew the board didn’t have the money. We wrote a grant for the funds and BCBA did this as a community betterment project.”

McClane is not from the area, but has been a Belle resident for nearly 18 years. During that time, he cannot remember working being completed at the facility nor has anyone he has asked know when it was built.

“The asphalt shingles on the roof had shrunk down to 40 percent,” McClane told the board of education. “I would guess they are the original ones.”

The Maries R-2 district’s transportation and maintenance director, Tony Gieck, is also assisting with the project along with Belle Public Works employee Tony Baretich.

“Tony is finishing off a couple of fixtures and paint,” McClane said. “Maybe we can get someone to put a mural on the side.”

Once Gieck finishes his work, the complete scope of the project: to remove the roof and install a new roof; remove old leaking urinals and toilet, and install new; and sanitize and paint inside the bathrooms — the project will be finished.

The BCBA estimated that 14 volunteers would work on the project for about 24 hours each. Belle Hardware Store bid $2,797 lumber, toilet/urinal replacement, along with Lane Building Supplies at $1,870 for pre-painted metal sheets for the roof.

“This was $1,000 for a bathroom,” McClane said about the project when it was all done after in-kind match and grant funds.

A total of 336 hours has been spent on the project that the group planned to complete within 90 days.

“There are a number of other grant opportunities out there,” McClane said. “We are working with the libraries and BCBA will be working with Tony (Gieck) and Dr. Basham about other properties we can work on.”

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