The Pine Peace basketball court no longer sufferings from flooding thanks to recent renovations.
The days when any amount of rainfall would swamp the Pine Peace basketball court are over, according to Gary Swanny.
Swanny is the owner of Stone Masonry who recently wrapped up renovations to the island’s sole basketball court.
“We raised the whole site up two feet; and did a lot of drainage,” he said.
With the drainage issues under control, Pine Peace basketball court renovations also included pouring a new court, fixing walls in the area, refurbishing the restrooms and installing new fencing in the area.
While not included in the government contract, Swanny made sure grass would grow next to the court as well.
“We did put in an irrigation system so the grass would grow,” he said. “We didn’t get paid for that. We had to grow grass and it’s hard to grow grass without regular water so we did that.”
The project took 120 days, starting on March 18 and wrapping up in mid-July.
The final pieces of project — playground equipment, covered bleachers and a scoreboard — were purchased with community and private sector donations. That equipment was scheduled for shipment from Miami in early August and expected to arrive this week.
“We’re just waiting for the rest of the equipment,” said Swanny. “It’s supposed to be here the second week of August and then we’re going to install all of it.”
Although the project is not officially completed, the new court has already been attracting a steady stream of grateful basketball players.
“There are kids out there every day,” said Swanny. “All of the kids thanked me the first day we opened it up. They all knew my name and thanked me.”
“I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
Once the playground equipment and bleachers are in place, government officials plan to host an official grand opening at Pine Peace basketball court which is expected to feature a tournament and shoot around.