Rex Champ Field renovation underway

By Brian Cameron

NCRD’s Rex Champ field is currently undergoing renovation with not only a new parking lot, but a retaining wall, ADA accessible ramp, stairs, sidewalk and more.

As part of a laundry list of to-do projects for the summer the North County Recreation District (NCRD) is set to finish up the remodel and renovation of Rex Champ field soon. Part of that restoration involves a better-constructed parking area and pedestrian friendly amenities that go into making the utilization of the field a better experience for everyone.

“We’re redoing it from the ground up,” said NCRD Director David Wiegan.

“The old facility had a lot of things that needed attention and thankfully we’re finally finding the funding to do just that.”

According to Wiegan the Field’s namesake was a true pioneer of the community.
“Rex Champ was a little league coach and a revered person in the community,” said Wiegan. “He passed about ten years ago but we’re hoping that his name will live on in the community.”

Referring to the project, part of the process of renovation is for new signage to be placed so passers by can better see where the field is near downtown Nehalem, as it stands the name Rex Champ Field is emblazoned upon the sign’s front and Wiegan feels it’s a proper homage to a man with strong community ties.

Rex Champ Field is to host a variety of events both sporting and social alike throughout the summer.

The NCRD baseball team uses it every Thursday evening and, later in July, the field will be repurposed as the official venue for the Manzanita Music Festival which is planned for July 21, 22 and 23.

The festival will only be held on Rex Champ Field on Friday, July 21 with the rest of the event taking place off Laneda Avenue in Manzanita.

Some of the changes currently being worked on include a nine foot high retaining wall, a protective structure built around an outside oil-tank, entry-way ramp, stairs, a newly paved parking lot, sidewalk and roadside signage.

The project in its entirety was bid in at $236,000 and is being done by local contractor Chris Dials Construction.

Wiegan invites everyone down for NCRD’s 20th anniversary, which is planned for Sat. June 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a series of family-friendly events are planned to help commemorate the NCRD as the cornerstone of the community it has become.