Legion Field 'screamed for some improvements.' $1 million project starts Monday.

Madison Arnold Pensacola News JournalPublished 7:00 AM EDT Aug 17, 2020Legion Field will close Monday for the

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Legion Field will close Monday for the remainder of the year, but will return in early 2021 with a bevy of improvements.

During the closure, crews will work to install a new press box and scoreboard on the football field, a new pavilion and a splash pad, as well as make improvements to the walking path. The project totals more than $1 million in improvements, said Brian Cooper, parks and recreation director for the city of Pensacola.

"That park, it screamed for some improvements and we wanted to make sure we met those demands," Cooper said.

A LeaP Into Fitness Court, as well as a new playground, have already been installed in recent years.

During the closure, all park grounds will be off limits to the public, which includes all grass areas, park playground, paths, seating and the LeaP court. 

However, the Theophalis May Resource Center and Westside Branch Library will remain open during construction.

Cooper said with the improvements, Legion Field is growing into a regional park, meaning it has plenty of amenities and draws visitors from outside the neighborhood.

"It still serves the neighborhood, but it's more than that. When people find out there's a splash pad on that side of town, they're going to come from all over," Cooper said. "It's going to be a little bit of a destination park for a lot of people in that whole regional area."

The Southern Youth Sports League is housed at Legion Field for its football and cheer leading programs. With football this fall being canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, Cooper said construction can move a bit faster than it originally would have. 

"It's going to enable us to go quicker because we were going to have to tippy-toe around football season," Cooper said. "With youth football being canceled, we're able to go full bore and get this done as quick as we can."

Madison Arnold can be reached at marnold@pnj.com and 850-435-8522.

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