Construction on four new athletic fields at the Morrison Family YMCA in Ballantyne is scheduled to begin in January, delayed nearly two years after the $1.4 million project was to begin.
The additional fields are part of a partnership between Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation and the Morrison Family YMCA, and will help round out the shared-use Ballantyne District Park, according to Steve Bowers, community vice president at the Morrison Family YMCA.
“This expansion allows Parks and Rec and YMCA to continue to partner with area organizations to provide more recreational opportunities for growing sports leagues and youth development activities,” said Bowers. “YMCA and Parks and Rec officials are excited to continue this private/public partnership and to maximize the success that we have had serving the community’s needs.
“This partnership has served as a great example of being good stewards of our community’s investment and youth.”
The project, including shared use of the complex center, is part of a 2000 county-YMCA agreement.
Although construction for four new fields was slated for 2010, both parties agreed to extend the agreement for three more years due to the recent economic downturn, postponing completion of the fields until 2013.
Earlier this year, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners agreed to spend the money for the long-awaited complex, and Bowers said the project can now move forward. The $1.4 million cost is split between the two parties.
Bowers indicated that the joint venture will allow for 50-50 usage of the fields. Two fields will be multi-use, while the other two are designated for soccer and baseball. The location of the fields will be behind the YMCA, positioned close to Hawk Ridge Elementary and Community House Middle schools.
Developers hope the park will be eventually be accessed by Blakeney Health Road, but the fields will be accessible initially off of Bryant Farms Road.
Bowers added that the addition of the fields will allow the Morrison Family YMCA to expand some of its programs, possibly allowing for adult softball and intramural baseball.
“Construction will be underway in January/February of 2013. The completion date of October 2013 still stands. We are currently in the design phase of this project,” added Bowers. “Once the design phase is completed, the county will host a community meeting for input.”
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