Birmingham named new park and recreation director

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Darrell Birmingham is new park and recreational director for Manila. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Darrell Birmingham has accepted the position of park and recreation director at Manila City Park. Birmingham has volunteered and worked part-time at the Manila ball park and the water park for many years and is looking forward to serving in a full time capacity. The experience he has gained through the years of being part of the water park/pool since its opening three years ago, and making sure the ball parks are ready for games for many years will be beneficial to him as he takes on more responsibility at the park.

Work has been underway to hire and train swimming pool staff for the upcoming year as well as getting the pool ready for the season's opening date of May 28. The pool will open on Memorial weekend.

Birmingham said 14 lifeguards received their certification last week and there will be three more before opening date. Craig Wheeler and Zack Birmingham will serve as head lifeguards this year.

Darrell Birmingham readies therapeutic pool.

The pool hours will be from 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The pool will be closed to the public on Mondays. This year a morning opening will be available for private parties. The pool will be available to rent for private parties from 10 a.m. until noon and from 6-8 p.m.

For more information on the pool and the available rental dates, persons can call city hall.

The inside heated therapeutic pool is also open. It is open three days a week to area senior citizens. Water aerobics are held Monday and Wednesday from noon until 1 p.m. and 1-2 p.m. on Friday and by appointment.

Birmingham said it was not an easy decision to change careers, but he is looking forward to the challenge.

"Right now our priority is getting the pool up and running, but once we get it going we will be looking at other ways to create activities at the park for our young people," he said.

Birmingham is hoping to start camp days at the park starting June 20.

"We have basketball courts, baseball fields, inside batting cages, volley ball, tennis courts, and more," Birmingham said. "We could have a week's camp starting at 9 a.m. until noon. For a reasonable charge we could offer a week of three hours of outside activities, serve lunch, and a pass into the water park for each day of camp. We can start it to see if there is an interest. I think it could be a positive activity for our young people. We have a really good park and I hope we can make it even better for all ages to enjoy."

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