The City of Norfolk has a lot to be proud of. It took awhile to make it happen, but their newly revitalized veterans memorial park is a thing of beauty. It cost more than 16 million dollars but many people feel it was worth every penny.
For years, this football field has been home to all three of Norfolk's high schools. But the grand old stadium got a face lift, including a new artificial playing surface, new visitor seating as well as upgraded stands on the home side.
The baseball diamond had also existed in this location for many years, but it too got a fresh refurbishing including new stands for the fans.
Approximately 4 million dollars was spent on the football and baseball facilities upgrade.
What's new to the park is a gorgeous water recreation facility. Sheila Schukei is the human resources director for the City of Norfolk, "We knew what kind of a benefit is was going to be for the community, it was just a labor of love."
And this labor of love gave the citizens of Norfolk just what they were looking for. Sheila says, One of the things that people told us all the time is that we want stuff for our kids to do, we want things for our youth, we want to keep them in this community. We don't always want to be going to different communities to find our recreation."
The Aquaventure Water Park opened this past June and approximately 63,000 people visited the park and wave pool in year number one.
Dennis Smith is the public works director and he says this state of the art aqua park is built to last, "I'm the construction guy and we've got a facility here that I believe will be here for many, many years."
The revitalization of Veterans Memorial Park was by no means an easy task, but after a decade of dedication city officials are very pleased with the final product.
Shiela says the positive response on the park was overwhelming, "The people who had not been here for awhile...I had a gentlemen that hadn't been back in ten years and he saw the renovation of this whole park. It's Veterans Memorial Park and if you saw the before pictures of what it looked like to what you see today, it's amazing."