If you’ve driven down Sunset Drive past the Rec Center lately, you’ve no doubt noticed the big construction going on just beyond the tennis courts, in the area known as Optimist Park.

It’s Phase 1 of Guntersville’s big park renovation project. Chorba Contracting of Guntersville has the nearly $3.9 million contract to build the new park and they’re already getting good reviews from city officials on the job.

“When Chorba came in, they went to work,” city rec director Matt Bryant told the City Council at their last meeting.

Chorba has been on site for about 4 weeks now, job superintendent J.J. Pendergrass said. The initial work has consisted of getting the new ballfields up to grade. The topsoil that will be used later in the landscaping of the new park has been pulled back and stacked around the work area.

“If you stand back far enough, you can see the outline of the 3 new fields,” Chorba president Marty Likos said.

On any given day, 6 to 8 workers are on site moving dirt, getting the fields ready. In the contract, Chorba has until February to finish, Pendergrass said. But the plan is to get the fields sodded before the current growing season ends.

Likos is excited that Chorba has the big project in its own hometown.

“It’s nice to have one that you’re going to drive by 5 or 6 times a day just going to the office,” he said.

Local subcontractors are also working on the project. Horton Masonry started the block work on the new concession stand/restroom building this week. A 2-man crew, Dewayne Horton and James Anderton, were laying the blocks.

“This is going to be a nice park,” Horton said. “Just wait until you see it.”

The concession stand’s finishing touches will be rock and wood, he said. The pathways throughout the park will be paved with bricks.

“This has been one little-bitty field for years and now it will be 3,” Horton said.

The new and improved Optimist Park is one of 3 pretty big local jobs Chorba has going now or will soon have going, Likos said. They’re also building the new building on the Kappler campus at the top of the mountain and they will soon be building a new Brindley Pharmacy in downtown Albertville.

The second phase of the park renovation will take place later at Lions Park. The third and final phase will be a complete renovation of the parks on the other side of Highway 69, Tom Jackson, Ogletree and Bill Moore Field. 

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