New plans in place for Buddy McLemore Park in Springfield

Panama City

SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WMBB) — Residents have noticed Buddy McLemore Park slowly fading into disrepair; however, new plans are in store for the park and others around Springfield.

Since Hurricane Michael, the park is becoming a safety hazard for children, which prompted the city to remove the playground on site.

Springfield Mayor Ralph Hammond said it’s been a long time coming, but the changes to the park are much needed.

“Basically the whole park will be totally revamped,” Mayor Hammond said. “We had one lady call and said her child fell through the step. At that point, that’s when we decided to pull it all down.”

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He said the goal is to build it back better, including the basketball courts, football field and more.

“Once we get done, it’ll be all brand new and a lot better than what we have now,” Hammond said.

He said the plan is to move the basketball courts to where the playground was, which will make space for a retention pond with a new playground in between. A pickleball court is also in the plans.

“They’re having tournaments out on the beach, so we’re hoping our community will get involved in it also,” Hammond said.

The football field will be revamped as well, with plans for additional parking and commercial space once the fire station moves to its new complex. Hammond said now they’re just waiting for the funding, but in the meantime, other parks in Springfield are seeing improvements.

“Bear with us… We’ve been saying that for two and a half years, but everything is coming into play,” Hammond said. “Some of our parks are being utilized quite a bit the way they are right now, but we just want to make it more friendly for the community.”

As of now, there is no set timeline for the changes to Buddy McLemore Park.

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