A $10 million Greenwood sports park is under construction

Construction on Greenwood’s new facility is progressing, with crews moving dirt before laying the foundation for the city’s latest project.

A 40-acre parcel northwest of Worthsville Road and the Interstate 65 interchange will soon be the site of a sprawling sports park that will include eight baseball/softball diamonds and a multi-use playing field. It will also include the city’s second splash pad and add to Greenwood’s inventory of inclusive playground equipment, according to project designs.

The park will provide a venue for traveling sports teams and their families, officials said.

Right now, though, the site is just like other new construction sites: flat and empty.

“With any new construction, especially this scale, it’s a rough place,” said Rob Taggart, executive director of parks and recreation. “It didn’t have unlimited utilities.”

Infrastructure works and public services in progress

Construction crews are currently working to put infrastructure and utilities in place, including sanitation, stormwater, power and water lines, he said.

The park is expected to cost about $10 million, but most of the funds are coming from a $9 million tax increment financing, or TIF, bond approved by the city council in May. The bond will draw on revenue received from the Worthsville Road TIF District, which officials have said is generating revenue faster than expected.

City officials say the remaining $1 million will be paid from park impact fees and operating funds. Park impact fees are collected on each new home built in the city to create and maintain park facilities.

The park’s design follows what officials have previously said it would include, including eight baseball/softball diamonds. Diamonds are designed to be multi-purpose and will use a hybrid approach to turf. Artificial turf will be used in the infield and natural turf in the outfield, Taggart said.

There is also the community park aspect.

“It will be inclusive play equipment, splash pads (and) also a multi-purpose field north of that,” he said. “Then the whole side will be connected with multi-use trails.”

There is currently no publicly available schedule for construction due to the nature of the construction environment at this time with labor and supply chain issues. The city deals with those on a day-to-day basis and likely won’t have a clear view of the construction schedule before early next year, Taggart said.

The park addresses the lack of recreation

The sports park as a whole was designed to address a recreation deficiency in that area of ​​town, while also developing a welcoming walkway to Worthsville Road, Taggart said.

“This is just a great opportunity for us to have this recreational facility in this southeast quadrant of the city,” he said. “… Also with the additional ball diamonds, we’ll be able to offer more of a diverse range of programs and then we’ll also offer tournaments.”

Mayor Mark Myers is very excited about the project and what it will bring to the community. Among the things it offers is a cricket ground, something the city has never had before.

“It has a lot to offer, really, for everything,” he said.

When people come to communities these days, they’re looking for communities that have amenities that enhance their quality of life. They’re looking for inclusive playgrounds, parks and splash zones, along with opportunities like playing in tournaments, Taggart said.

“This is ticking the box to make sure Greenwood stays relevant and offers the highest quality of life services,” he said.

Improvements in the quality of life

The park builds quality of life amenities for everyone, but also offers new recreational opportunities that will be new to the city. The multi-purpose pitch can be used for a variety of sports, including cricket. That’s something that’s been missing for the city’s growing Sikh population, Myers said.

The sports park will also include a soccer field, something the city hasn’t had in a while, for both children and adults, he said.

“It’s another amenity to help get people out and help encourage that healthy, walkable lifestyle,” Myers said.

Taggart said that under Myers’ administration, the city has been able to produce several quality-of-life projects, including the reinvented Old City Park, the redevelopment of the Surina Park Amphitheater and the Greenwood Fieldhouse. Taggart anticipates that the quality of work on these projects will also be present at the sports park.

“I think that’s what residents can expect,” he said.

Along with the sports park, he cites the upcoming completion of the walking trail along Madison Avenue and Main Street in Old Town as part of the idea.

“People first said (the trail) was a really bad mistake and said people wouldn’t use them. But they’re being used more and more,” Myers said.

Studies show that trails and parks, for example, are one of the things people look at when looking for a community to live. So building those and things is just as important as attracting jobs and places to eat, Myers said.

“We’re trying to add to it so people come to Greenwood, want to stay in Greenwood,” he said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.