VIDEO SPECIAL: Palm Bay To Makeover Youth Football Facilities

By  //  July 14, 2012

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Veterans Memorial Park Makeover


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BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – After decades of playing in worn out and downtrodden facilities at Veterans Memorial Park, youth football players in Palm Bay are about to enjoy a dazzling new experience.

After 40 years, Palm Bay's Veterans Memorial Park will be upgraded for youth football players. (Image courtesy Destination Brevard)

City of Palm Bay spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said Wednesday that Palm Bay’s Parks and Recreation Department, along with its youth athletic partners and city partners will break ground on a new youth football field for Veterans Memorial Park.

Groundbreaking  will held at 4 p.m. Thursday at the park at 2200 Port Malabar Boulevard NE in Palm Bay.

“The ceremony marks an unprecedented effort to collaborate multiple resources without the use of city tax dollars for the improvement of the park in order to raise the level and quality of youth athletic programs in Central Florida’s second largest municipality,” Martinez said.

The new field will be home to the Palm Bay Youth Athletic Association football teams once the field is completed.

The 2012 youth football football season begins in August with the Palm Bay Youth Athletic Association celebrating its 40th year of service to the community.

“When people work together, great things happen, and that’s exactly what is taking place here,” said Heidi Lapin, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation department.  “This is about making things better and this project is sure to offer area residents a premiere park they will be proud of for years to come.”

The first phase of the project will include the construction of a 100-yard, laser graded football field, new irrigation, energy efficient lighting,  scoreboard, fencing, expanded parking, announcers booth and refurbished bleachers sporting the red and black colors of the Palm Bay Youth Athletic Association.

A partnership between the Palm Bay Youth Athletic Association and Palm Bay East Little League inspired the idea to improve playing conditions for each of the leagues.

The project is entirely funded through grants and recreation impact fees and the city will demolish the on-site structures currently used by Palm Bay East Little League.

The baseball league will subsequently occupy additional space at Knecht Park where all divisions and age groups can participate in one location, Martinez said.

Palm Bay Public Works, Parks and Recreation’s Facilities Division and Growth Management partnered for engineering, design, labor and funding for the project.

Phase Two will move the basketball court closer to the street. A path around the park, benches and additional parking will complete the improvements in Decemberr.

“Our program serves some 600 area kids each year and this is great to have a safe place for kids to play football,” said Earl Tullis, president of the Palm Bay Youth Athletic Association.  “The kids are so excited to see the work actually begin and they know they’ll have a new facility to play in this year.  We truly appreciate the city of Palm Bay for finding a way to make this happen.”

The Palm Bay Pirates youth football program compete in the Brevard County Youth Football and Cheerleading Association.