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'All the wiring was stripped': Vandalism adds to price tag of $2.9 million Bloomfield Gilead Rec Center renovation

Parks and Recreation Director Robert Walker says they hope to have it all fixed by February so they can move on with construction.

MACON, Ga. — Renovations at Bloomfield Gilead Recreation Center are back on track after some vandalism.

Construction crews have worked for months, putting in new lighting, concessions, bathrooms and dugouts. Macon-Bibb Parks and Recreation Director Robert Walker says someone ripped wires out of the light poles, but he doesn't think it will set them back too much.

Bulldozers have become a pretty common sight at Bloomfield. Mounds of clay and dirt are becoming more common too.

"It's been over 50 years," said Adonis Hollingshed. "Been needing remodeling for a while."

Hollingshed would know. He runs the youth baseball league at Bloomfield. Once upon a time, he was a player there too.

"Actually used to be a tennis court right behind us where that field is, back there," he said, pointing things out. "There used to be a bridge that went all the way down there. And there was a stadium at the bottom."

All that is now gone. The old little league closed up shop a long time ago. Hollingshed decided to bring it back in 2014.

"Bloomfield used to be a big thing in the past. And we wanted to keep it going. Like I said, it was just for the opportunity for the kids in the neighborhood so they didn't have to travel as far to go play," he said.

Last year, Macon-Bibb commissioners approved nearly $2.9 million to update the fields. They've been under construction ever since, but the vandalism was a bit of a snag.

"We had new lights put in and unfortunately we had some vandalism," Walker said.

Walker says all they know is one day, they tried to turn on the lights, and they didn't work.

"All the wiring was stripped, so that has to be traced and pulled back into the lighting that was here," Walker said.

Tuesday, the commission approved more money to fix the lights. They're paying almost $125,000 in SPLOST money. Walker says it should be a quick fix.

"It does not seem to be a pretty hard project for the vendor," he said.

Hollingshed says, 'The quicker, the better.' His teams are ready for baseball season.

"Once they see it, they might even do a backflip with me! I might do one on opening day," he said.

Good news for all the sluggers out there is it looks like things are back on track to be ready for opening day in late March or early April. Hollingshed says he hopes the remodel will allow them to host baseball tournaments in Macon.

Walker says they suspect whoever stripped the wiring was looking for copper. He says they're looking into ways to prevent people from stealing it in the future. Metal trading websites show the price of a pound of copper wiring is almost $4.

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