Reynolds Park gets basketball court

Allen Engineering sales managers from around the country volunteered their labor to assist the Paragould Department of Public Works in pouring the concrete for a basketball court at Reynolds Park this week.

Reynolds Park will soon have a basketball court.

A group of sales managers from Allen Engineering teamed up with employees of the Paragould Department of Public works to pour an estimated 65 cubic yards of concrete on Tuesday. “It should be ready by November,” said City Director of Parks and Recreation Pat Austin as the work went on. She said the 90-by-55-foot court should cost between $12,000 and $15,000 when the work is completed.

But the cost is much less than it could have been, without the donated labor and equipment use by Allen. “We brought our national sales team to help do the basketball court,” said Jeff Johnson, inside sales manager for Allen’s Paragould facility. “And we donated the use of our equipment.”

Johnson explained the company was holding its annual national sales meeting at the same time as the scheduled pouring of the concrete. “So we lucked out,” he said.

Johnson added that usually, Allen hosts its “Concrete College” but that the COVID-9 public health emergency had put such activities on indefinite hold. According to its website, the Allen Concrete College combines a classroom seminar and hands-on training in concrete placing and finishing techniques to produce high f-number floors. The college teaches Allen dealers how to increase the flatness and levelness of floors, about the basics of concrete flooring mix design and the F-Number System.

But Allen’s inability to hold the Concrete College proved no obstacle for the sales managers, who hailed from as far away as Idaho and New Jersey. “We’ve never done anything close to this size before,” Johnson said. “And the weather is perfect for it.”

Austin said that although the court should be complete next month, added plans could include goals of differing heights at a later date to enable children to play basketball as well. “And we appreciate you giving back to the community,” she said to Johnson.

“We’re so glad to do this,” Johnson replied. “I’m from Paragould and I grew up playing out here at Reynolds Park.”

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