Robertsdale plans exterior improvements at Coliseum

More trees, hedges, sidewalks, flower beds among changes being studied

By Guy Busby, Government Editor, guy@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 3/2/22

ROBERTSDALE – City officials plan improvements to the grounds of the Baldwin County Coliseum now that Robertsdale owns the site.

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Robertsdale plans exterior improvements at Coliseum

More trees, hedges, sidewalks, flower beds among changes being studied

Posted

ROBERTSDALE – City officials plan improvements to the grounds of the Baldwin County Coliseum now that Robertsdale owns the site.
Mayor Charles Murphy said at the Robertsdale City Council meeting Monday, Feb. 21, that proposals are being studied to add more trees, flowerbeds and hedges and to move the fences. He said officials also plan to later add sidewalks to the site and into the grounds to improve pedestrian access.

The city bought the Coliseum on Fairgrounds Road from Baldwin County for $2.2 million in 2021.

Murphy said one plan is to move the fence in the front of the building back from the street to improve the appearance of the site. He said city officials had discussed the proposal with members of the Baldwin County Cattle and Fair Association, which leases the Coliseum. Association members said they were concerned that without the fence, visitors might park on the front lawn during events such as the Baldwin County Fair.

The mayor said one solution is to plant a hedge along the front of the property.

"What they were afraid of, particularly during fair times, if we do that and take the fence down, people will park in the front," Murphy said. "We've talked about putting flower beds in there and cleaning it up. We'd have to deal with vehicles too. So, we're trying to be a little proactive and build a hedge structure."

He said the fence would stay in place while the hedge is growing.
"We go ahead and start the hedge, but we don't take the fence down," Murphy said. "We leave it in place for about a year. We get some growth on the bushes. Then, we take it out and realign the fence. Then at that point in time, they're high enough. It's not to say that you could have somebody who goes in there and runs over them, but the likelihood is less."

The fences would be moved closer to the Coliseum building. Portable gates would also be added to restrict access to the property during times when paid admission is required, such as the fair.

He said oak trees that died or were uprooted during Hurricane Sally in 2020 will also be replaced.

"They originally planted some live oaks out there and some of the trees have died. The storm took some of them out. They're not that high yet. I guess the height on some of those trees is probably 15 to 20 feet, with trunks on them about 8 inches," Murphy said. "What we're going to do is go back up there and replant some other live oaks that would match them in size, so everything stays balanced."

In addition to flower beds, a sidewalk could be added to run through the center of the front lawn. The walkway would link with a sidewalk planned on Fairgrounds Road.

The mayor said the walkways would provide pedestrian access to the site.

"If you bring the sidewalk down Fairground Road is to have some entrance points along that fence line normally during the year, leave the gates open and if people want to go in there and walk and use it as an exercise trail, it's just another area where they can go in and exercise there," he said.

Murphy said that in the future, city officials are looking at adding a hard surface road in the midway area east of the Coliseum. The road would allow better access to the area for equipment and vehicles during wet weather.

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