Price set to retire from Fairfield Parks and Rec

Price shows off the County’s newest facility, the Fitness Center, which houses a weight room, locker rooms, an exercise studio and offices.

WINNSBORO – Last week, Fairfield County Parks and Recreation Director Russell Price announced that he will officially retire on April 2.  Price, who has worked for Fairfield County for over 30 years, has served as the Director of Fairfield County Parks and Recreation since 2017.

Price’s stint in the county began in 1991 when he worked as Direction at Fairfield Recreation Association, where he managed and supervised all duties to maintain and run athletic programs and fields at Drawdy Park. Priced served in that role for over 16 years, and then as a Summary Court Judge from 2007 until 2017, when he returned to the recreation department.

“Stepping into my new position, I wanted to rebrand from a recreation department into a Parks and Recreation,” Price said in a press release issued last Wednesday. “Improving the relationship with community members and local schools was at the top of my list, along with a list of facility improvements that were needed throughout the county.”

Price and his staff began those improvements with renovation of baseball fields throughout the county, including Drawdy Park, Garden Street Park, Rufus Belton and Lake Monticello Park.

Tennis courts at the Boykin center were resurfaced and repainted to mirror the U.S. Open look.  Additionally, four new pickle ball courts were added to accommodate the growth of pickle ball interest in the county. 

The Boykin basketball gym had 6 brand new goals installed along with remote height adjusters to accommodate safety concerns.  In the back of the gym, maintenance staff converted an old storage area into Fitness Room complete with free weights, weight machines and cardio machines.  The project was finished without using excess funds and done with in-house maintenance staff. 

In the fall of 2018 the county received the deed to Fortune Springs Park pool.  Upon inheriting the pool, Price began a complete makeover including repairs to the pool, new paint and updating the restrooms. 

To add to the prior improvements made at Rufus Belton, a new walking track was built last year.  The Trail has been popular and utilized by citizens.

The last major projects completed included a much needed parking lot at Drawdy Park and the renovation of a dilapidated building into a modern health and fitness center that includes a weight room, locker rooms, exercise studio and offices to house department staff.  The Community Fitness Center currently has close to 100 members for the weight room and exercise classes.      

Beyond the improvements to the parks and facilities, Price expressed pride in many achievements that have been accomplished by staff beginning with the improved relationship with community agencies and local schools.  Additionally, senior programs, after school care, summer camp and gymnastics have reached max occupancy as wells as registration numbers increasing across the board every year during his tenure.  Youth athletic teams earned back to back state championships in 8U and 12U baseball during 2018 and 2019.  The 2020 10U basketball team earned the Jerry Coffey Invitational Tournament championship.  From 2018 to the present, Fairfield County Parks and Recreation has had several teams recognized for their achievements at county council.

“One of the proudest moments of my tenure was seeing the council chambers full when we were recognized as state champions,” Price said. “Council was able to see folks from all parts of the county, all walks of life and diversity come together and work as one.

 “I will always be honored and humbled how this community has embraced my family and I, looking back at the past 30 years truly puts a smile on this not so young 51 year old face.  God is good,” Price said.

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