Oxford Recreation’s new snack shack is a community-wide effort

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GOT SNACKS? — A good portion of the remaining work on the new snack shack at Pismo Beach in Oxford can be completed before the snow flies, but the plumbing will have to wait until spring.

OXFORD — After receiving the green light from selectmen, Recreation Director Connie Staples will get as much as possible done for the remaining work on the snack shack project at Pismo Beach before the snow flies.

At the Nov. 2 Oxford selectmen’s meeting, the board unanimously approved paying up to $23,001 for the project, which included a $300 cushion for unexpected expenses. The money will come from the Fund Balance, as Town Manager Butch Asselin recommended it come from there since there’s roughly $2 million in that account. Staples told the board the Recreation Department conducted a number of fundraisers and will pay for 25 percent of the project’s remaining costs.

Stapled inherited the project in August and is unsure of when it actually began. It started before she became rec director roughly three years ago and she said former Town Manager Michael Chammings was a key player in the project.

“My goal was to try and get this done before the snow flies. I am going to get the bulk of it done,” Staples said in a phone interview this week, adding the plumbing work will have to wait until spring because the water system has already been winterized. “My philosophy is to protect your assets.”

The new snack shack is a modular from KBS Builders Inc. in Paris. The finishing electrical work needs to be done, which will bring the electric up to code, according to Staples. She wants to protect the windows so they’re not broken by an intruder or another wayward ball.

“You get kids out there tossing the ball around and it already happened once [where a window broke]. Baseball and glass is not a good working situation,” Staples said, laughing. “We want to make sure the building is secure.”

Other work includes building decking, repairing shingles, finish installing the siding and installing the cabinets. Staples is unsure of what the arrangement was with the cabinets for the building since it happened before her time with the town, but they never came. So the Oxford Baseball Softball Association (OBSA) stepped up to the plate and built the cabinets for the new shack.

“OBSA did a beautiful job building the cabinets,” she said, adding the organization’s members also finished and sealed the cement floor and completed the sheet rock in the building. “The quality of workmanship of what they have done is amazing. You could easily hire someone to do this quality of workmanship.”

The one thing Staples added to the project is a gate at the end of the snack shack to prevent people from driving into the building or someone getting hit when leaving it. This will also block the roadway along side the building to prevent anyone from driving down to the back end of the field and over the septic system.

Through the Recreation Department’s fundraising and donations, the softball field will receive a new scoreboard and a set of bleachers, which were donated by Donna Landry.

“We really appreciate the donation of the bleachers,” Staples said.

Schiavi donated $1,000 towards the scoreboard and three seniors from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School raised $900 for the project through a softball fast pitch competition as part of their senior project.

“It was really awesome for them to do that,” Staples said.

Other completed parts of the project included fencing in the softball field, installing the dugouts, installing a state-of-the-art sprinkler system and laying down sod.

The plumbing for the snack shack will happen this spring and will be completed by Sam Cronin. This includes finishing work of setting the fixtures and toilet and hooking up the sinks and water.

“He is donating approximately $3,000 worth of material for the job and donating labor,” Staples told selectmen last week.

Other spring work includes shoring up the electrical building as it is sinking in the clay. Staples said the work includes installing a solid gravel-type base with drainage and building a cement dyke built up by wood for extra protection.

“It is a safety hazard at this point. It does need to be addressed,” she said.

Staples plans on using the old snack shack for storage once a few repairs are made to it, which will be a different project.

After the work is complete in spring 2018, Staples and the town will host a dedication ceremony and hopefully honor everyone who has been involved in the ongoing project. She noted there are probably a lot more people involved than she realizes.

“It is really nice to know you have different members … of the community coming together to work on this project. The softball field is a nice representation of the town,” she said, adding Oxford will be able to host more tournaments like the one held at the complex over the summer. “It is just going to enhance the offerings that we can do for the community.”

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