Story and Photos by Jim Ritch —
Children in three Shore sports leagues will be able to practice indoors this year at Randy Custis Memorial Park in Nassawadox.
In addition to the new facilities, players in Shore Little League will also benefit from free registration this year.
Thanks to a constellation of donations and an active board of directors, volunteers are building a new equipment storage building and improving space in another, larger building.
After the equipment is shuttled between the two buildings, players in Shore Little League, Shore Volleyball, and Shore Soccer will have more and safer space to practice in inclement weather.
Heather Lusk, president of the Randy Custis Memorial Fund, said that the improvements are just the first of three phases being planned.
As part of the first phase, a new heating and air-conditioning system has been installed.
Restrooms also have upgrades, as well as new coats of paint applied Saturday by members of three Rotary clubs and board members of the park.
The improvements were funded through a $15,000 donation from Rotary clubs in Onancock, Exmore, and Cape Charles, and an additional $10,000 given by an unnamed donor, Lusk said.
In the second phase, which will also finish soon, board member Thomas James is leading other volunteers in assembling a 36-foot by 40-foot, steel frame building.
The pad and frame of the building are already in place.
The building, donated by Coastal Precast Systems in Cape Charles, had originally been a boiler room and had already been moved once by a prior owner of the plant, said James, who is employed at Coastal Precast.
With the help of other plant workers, James disassembled the building and removed the parts.
Tom and Jennifer Rippon, Michele Ferebee, Tim Holloway, and others affiliated with the park helped repaint the frame.
Phase three, which is still in the planning, will be to install a new floor in the practice building.
Little League registration fees, which will not be charged this year, will be paid with funds raised last year before the spread of COVID-19 forced cancellation of the season.
Registrations are underway at www.shorelittleleague.org or by calling 757-693-1896.