By John R. Schirmer
Installing artificial turf on the infield at Wilson Park is expected to begin shortly, following the presentation of a $100,000 donation to the project from Diamond Bank.
Senior vice president Bob Jamison and market president Heath Wallis presented the check to Nashville Superintendent Doug Graham and Coach Kyle Slayton Friday morning at the park.
Nine other sponsors have committed to the $308,000 project, according to Graham.
Diamond Bank CEO, president and board chairman Dr. Tim Bainum “is very interested in all the schools in the communities where we are located,” Jamison said. “He’s been very generous with the Nashville athletic program and school system.”
Dr. Bainum “has been awfully generous to the schools. We appreciate all he’s done,” Graham said. “Executive vice president Johnny Gibbs and Bob Jamison and Heath Wallis certainly have gone to bat for the Nashville schools. It’s because of their interest that we’re able to do certain projects.”
The bank also contributed to the artificial turf at Scrapper Stadium in 2016.
Slayton said the project at Wilson Park “wouldn’t have happened without Diamond Bank being the big sponsor. That’s where we really pursued it more when they were in for $100,000. This will make Wilson Park even better” for the players and fans.
GeoSurfaces of Baton Rouge will install the turf, with work scheduled to begin in mid-November.
Company representative Billy Dawson, former Scrapper football coach, told Slayton and Graham that the project will take from 30-45 days if the weather cooperates.
Dawson’s brother Charlie owns GeoSurfaces.
“Our goal is for it to be ready after Christmas break and the time practice starts Jan. 8,” Graham said.
GeoSurfaces will prepare the field for the turf before installation begins.
The company also will work with Howard Construction to take care of drainage issues behind home plate.
Wilson Park is the home field for the Scrapper baseball team which has won four state championships under Slayton.
The first came in 2007 and has been followed by a three-peat in 2017, 2018 and 2019.