Lehighton's field of dreams?
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Providing lights to Baer Memorial Park's baseball field and the addition of basketball courts are on the wish list for some borough officials.
Two Lehighton officials share a field of dreams for Baer Memorial Park in Lehighton.
Councilman George Kogut and recreation director Tom Evans are hoping to see lighted basketball courts installed. Also, they envision lights being added to the baseball field.
"Tom and I were brainstorming," Kogut said. "We see Baer Memorial as a gold mine in this area."
He said such improvements are unlikely this year, but potentially in 2013 if grants or other funding becomes available.
Kogut said such improvements could make more programs available in cooperation with Lehighton Area School District.
Evans pointed out that part of the Baer Memorial complex is the Lehighton Community Swimming Pool. He pointed out the vast improvements that have been made to the pool in the past several years, and are continuing. The pool has been completely rehabilitated within the past few years, new pavilions have been built, a volleyball league is forming, and the refreshment stand was overhauled.
This year at the pool, an exterior pavilion is being added in which passers-by can stop and purchase soft ice cream, french fries, soft drinks, and other refreshments without paying the pool admission.
The pavilion is expected to be operating by July 1.
Evans said the combination of improvements to Baer Memorial would be a great boost to recreation in the Lehighton area.
He noted that the basketball courts would be at an area where periodic flooding wouldn't affect them. The Mahoning Creek, which meanders past the field, is known to overflow its banks during heavy rains, flooding part of the complex.
A football field on which knee-hi games are played is located next to the baseball field and is operated by the Lehighton Athletic Booster Club. The football field already has lighting for night games.
The borough council also spoke informally in the past about the heavy use of the Community Center on Eighth Street. That discussion evolved into whether an addition could some day be added to the center to increase the gym space.