Changes in the management of BNA Bank Park were announced this week by Mayor Time Kent and the New Albany Board of Aldermen.
The position of Kevin Crawford, park director, was eliminated. Management of the park was split between well known sports turf manager Charles Brunetti, who has the title of director of grounds and maintenance, and Crawford’s assistant John Epting, who will be director of operations.
The mayor also announced that Bo Bowman, a well-regarded tennis pro in Biloxi, will take over operations of the new tennis complete Aug. 15.
Time will tell whether the changes being made will have a major effect on the park’s operations. We tend to think that there is potential significant upside to the plans the Board of Aldermen have put in place.
Our concerns about the park have gone beyond the condition of the playing fields. The park, which was the talk of the region when it opened in 1993, had not kept pace with user expectations in 2012. Some changes have been made, including construction of one new restroom facility.
So far no plan has been put forward to landscape and screen the unattractive maintenance area on the south side of the park. We think that should be done soon.
But we think the city also should make plans for two other projects to enhance the park: First, a public swimming pool complex should be added in BNA Bank Park north, and second, a miniature golf complex should be constructed.
These additions would make our facility second to none in the region and add immensely to the quality of life in New Albany.