Brittney Burns – Staff Writer
When Macon County commissioners vowed to spend $3.5 million to construct the Parker Meadows Recreation Center, the board did so knowing that the facility would be an ever-evolving facility with the potential for upgrades, improvements and additions over the years. One of those additions, state-of-the-art batting cages, was celebrated on Wednesday morning.
“When we started building this park on a value budget, there were things that we knew weren’t going to be in the budget, batting cages being one of those things,” said Macon County Commission Chair Kevin Corbin. “But because of people in this community like the Bowles Family and Servpro, this park has no shortage of first class amenities for the children in our county.”
Eight months ago John Bowles, owner of Servpro, set out to build batting cages at Parker Meadows Recreation Park. Covering the entire cost of the cages, $132,000 and having his family and staff work overtime and volunteer to prepare the cages, county leaders and the Servpro family celebrated the completion of the batting cages on Wednesday morning.
“We are proud to call Macon County home and with my children and now their children growing up here, we wanted to do something and give this community something of quality that we can all be proud of,” said Bowles. “We plan to be here for a long time and plan to be playing ball at this park for years to come and we are excited to be able to give something back to our community.”
Macon County Manager Derek Roland noted that the quality of the batting cages speaks volumes about the community and the Bowles family.
“We are so grateful for the entire Bowles family and their contribution to this park and our community as a whole,” said Roland. “Just by looking at these batting cages, it’s obvious that they spared no expense and didn’t cut any corners and I think that’s indicative of how they run their business and shows their dedication and diligence for our community.”
Commissioner Ronne Beale noted that from the businesses who sponsored fields at Parker Meadows to businesses like Servpro who volunteer to build needed additions like the batting cages, the new rec park has been made possible through complete community buy-in and support.
“Even if we never held a tournament out here, and we never saw any growth or increase in sales tax because of this park, first and foremost this park was built for the children of Macon County and for this community,” said Beale. “And with the continued support of families in Macon County like the Bowles family, it’s evident that this park is serving its purpose.”
According to Bowles, the batting cages were designed to evolve overtime if needed. He said that they can be expanded and additions can be made as needed in the park. The batting cages feature electricity and netting and everything needed for players to get in some practice swings before a game.