Ormond field in Destrehan is set to become a go-to spot for families in St. Charles and surrounding parishes after the St. Charles Parish Council approved a $925,200 renovation of the field. Not included in that cost total is one of the most anticipated additions – a splash park that will be constructed by way of a $350,000 donation.
Along with the splash park, which will be free to use, the field located on Ormond Boulevard will be completely redesigned with two baseball/softball fields, a football field, batting cages, upgraded playground equipment, new pavilions and a walking path around the park.
A centralized pavilion will also cover a concession stand that will include bathrooms and storage areas. A fence will also be constructed along the border of the park and Ormond Boulevard for safety.
"It’s going to be phenomenal," Councilwoman Wendy Benedetto, who has fought for funds to improve the field for the last four years, said. "This has been needed for a long time. Right now, we really just have a piece of real estate with a fence on it and we have hundreds of kids that play on this field through rec sports. Now we are basically tearing everything down and starting over to make it a wonderful place for families to visit."
The splash park will be the only public facility in the parish that parents can visit with their children to cool off during the summer months. The padding of the park will be motion-activated so that water will not be wasted.
"We want everyone to come into our district to use our field and splash park, and at this point there is no charge to use the splash area," Benedetto said.
Benedetto has been budgeting for the Ormond field improvements since 2009 because she believes the new additions will help draw patrons to businesses in the area.
"After the splash park, kids will want to visit our restaurants to get pizza, Subway or go to a sno ball stand," she said. "This could bring a lot of people from inside and outside of the parish to Destrehan and it will help businesses in the area. We all benefit from this and the quality of life the park will portray will be so nice."
Duane Foret, director of the parish’s Parks and Recreation Department, agreed.
"That can increase business and bring more communities to our area," he said. "We have businesses closing right there in that little strip mall, so hopefully we can energize that spot."
Benedetto said the park should only take between three to four months to construct once all permits are attained.