BRADENTON – More parking space will be coming to McKechnie Field.
The Bradenton City Council on Wednesday voted to utilize the former Boys & Girls Club complex on 9th Street, set for demolition, by eventually turning some of it into additional parking for the nearby baseball stadium.
Also planned will be a second full field on the site for Bradenton Marauders parent-club, the Pittsburgh Pirates, to practice on during spring training.
City Clerk Carl Callahan, who presented the plan to the council, said that another parcel from the property "would go to the B&GC for a future site should they decide to build back in the neighborhood."
Rachel Leighton, Planning Director for ZNS Engineers, advised council members that the proposed changes to the expansion of McKechnie's half field into a full practice field with a minimum 30 ft. high fence with netting, a redesigned parking lot, a stabilized emergency access route for the Fire Department, and a new dedicated bus parking area.
A 6-to-8 ft. fence will also be erected along 9th Street West, said Leighton.
Concerns about aesthetics were brought up by Councilman Harold Byrd, who asked for assurance that beautification would be a priority in the absence of the club's complex.
Jeb Mulock, also with ZNS Engineering, advised the council that the company had worked with the city's planning department, that the newly developed area "will be aesthetically pleasing," and that it would match the baseball stadium's existing aesthetics.
At the end of the presentation, the council voted unanimously on supporting the project.
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