Circleville – During Tuesday night’s council meeting Councilwoman Sheri Theis unveiled the master plan for the expansion property at Barthelmas Park.
The City purchased the 21 acres of land in 2018 using a grant from the Pickaway County Park District. The cost of the land is 300,000 dollars the city will fund all the upfront costs by a bond, and pay the funds back by using all the Pickaway Park and Trail Grants for the next 5 years (45,000 per year) according to Tom Davis of Pickaway County Parks. “Our contribution for this park will be 225,000.00 dollars of the costs, the city paid 75,000.
The park development was put on hold in 2019 due to limited funds, but because of the passing of the safer grant in Circleville, the city has more funds to put towards parks. In 2020 the city aimed to put more money toward parks. At first, it was decided that Ted Lewis was in the most need of attention. In 2015 the city conceived a master plan for Ted Lewis Park so the city started work on Ted Lewis. Now after a portion of the plan for Ted Lewis has been completed and the second half planned the City now focuses back on Barthelmas.
“Originally Mayor Mcllroy had a plan for two softball fields along Kingston Park,” said Theis, “In 2021 we had a concept meeting at the shelter house in Barthelmas Park and presented the Mayor’s concept drawing and to get everyone’s feedback. Youth leagues, the Council, the Administration, and the General public were invited to come to join in the discussion on what could be included in the 21 acres. The main takeaway was that the youth leagues would like to have four diamonds other than the two that the Mayor had proposed. This would allow for most of the teams to play at Barthelmas Park and eliminate the need to use the diamonds at the school which presents some challenges. Also, they would be able to host tournaments and bring more people to Circleville.”
Currently, Barthelmas Park has 2 concession areas, 2 permanent bathrooms, 2 shelter houses, 5 baseball diamonds, Playgrounds, Basketball court, and Several soccer fields. Recently the local Pickleball association raised money to convert one of the basketball courts into two Pickleball courts with permanent nets.
The new concept has plans for 4 more softball fields, a duo concession stand, and a restroom in the middle of the fields. A new parking area along Kingston Pike, a shelter house, and a gazebo/pond with a surrounding walking trail.
The estimate of the new park came in around 5 million dollars. Councilwoman Theis said that planned funding would start with a land and conservation grant they are aiming for this fall. Mayor Mcllroy has also met with State Representative Brian Stewart to pursue state capital funding. The next step would be to have the engineering done due to having just a rough sketch of the concept. This would help in the next steps to help tackle the project.