By Danielle Delint

We need to develop and build upon an opportunity to invest in the future of our youth and young adults.  Creating this opportunity will not only help our young adults/youth throughout the year, it will also provide local jobs in the area.  It is a win/win situation.

Looking within Hawkins, you can count on two hands how many empty buildings the city has. Some of the owners of those buildings have passed on and locating their next of kin to obtain information has proven to be difficult; while other empty buildings have just sat there gathering dust and waiting on a lease or rental opportunity.  That is where vision comes into play.

Let’s take a look at a vision of mine, that I know the citizens of Hawkins would love to have as well as the youth/young adults. Many times, I drive by the old Family Dollar Store, it is the big empty building that has been vacant for some time now.  One day, as I was driving by it, I was trying to figure out what type of business would want a building like that, and then it hit me. Why not make it an indoor batting cage for baseball/softball.

You are probably asking yourself, how did she come up with that idea?  Well, on one of my outings around Christmas last year, I found myself in Marshall, Texas.  Walking down the shopping district, I came across “The Infield”.  This is an indoor batting cage in the downtown shopping area of Marshall. So, as I said above, it hit me and the idea began to develop in my mind, especially as this time in the City of Hawkins as we prepare to improve the economy of the city.  What better way to improve the economy than to bring a business like that.  There is no reason to recreate the wheel.  Someone else has already done it in another city and is succeeding very well.  Looking at Hawkins and the surrounding area, there are many people involved in baseball and softball.  This would be an excellent opportunity to build something that can be utilized year around to not only improve skills, but teach skills as well.

So, what I am asking of the Citizens of Hawkins, is to look closely at the empty buildings that are for sale/lease or rent. What vision do you see? What types of businesses do you want to see in Hawkins? I would love to see this batting cage come to life. The owners of the building live in Dallas, Texas and according to Wood County Appraisal homepage, the estimated value is a little over $84K. The sign on the door states for rent/lease. Yes, developing it will not be cheap, but in the long run, you are developing young minds and hearts through the art of sports. Take a chance, someone out there has always wanted to own their own business.  Maybe there is someone out there who will develop it and make it happen but wants someone else to manage it.  Think about it. Then do it.