Mooresville park ready by Sept.

Crews are finishing work on what will be the town's largest public park in time for a grand opening Labor Day weekend.

The 80-acre Mazeppa Road Park will have six lighted soccer fields, three lighted adult softball fields, a lighted adult baseball field, a mile of walking trails, a playground with a longer-lasting rubber surface, and concession stands, restrooms and open-air shelters.

Two of the soccer fields have artificial turf provided by Mooresville-based Medallion Athletic Products Inc.

The athletic fields appear ready for use, but Mooresville Recreation Director Wanda McKenzie said the public isn't allowed to use them until the official opening.

The grand opening will include a softball tournament and a ceremonial first pitch by a local celebrity to be announced.

Mazeppa Road Park was made possible by a $25million voter-approved bond issue for parks and recreation last decade.

The park was built for $7million, well under the projected $13million, McKenzie said on a tour of the park last week.

Demand continues to be great for athletic fields in town, McKenzie said. "In spring and fall, it would surprise me if there are any open soccer fields at all (in Mazeppa Road Park)," she said. "They'll be heavily used."

The park is two miles from Mazeppa Road's intersection with N.C. 115.

Work, meanwhile, continues on the $3million Cornelius Road Park, another nearly 80-acre complex made possible by the voter-approved bond issue.

Cornelius Road Park's six tennis courts will open in late fall, McKenzie said. Bermuda grass for the park's two youth baseball fields needs another growing season, meaning those fields won't open until fall 2012, she said.

Music hall opens in former Cornelius theater

The former Palace theater in the Kenton Place retail center got a second anchor this month: a music hall with a stage, 200 stadium-style seats, concert sound and lighting systems, video projection and audio and video recording capabilities.

Cornelius-based Creative Ej opened the hall with a stage large enough for most any music or dance performance, company president Jeff Gastineau said.

The lighting and sound systems are concert-quality, he said, and the three-way video projection system allows the company to project anything from presentations and graphics to three separate videos at the same time.

The company's grand opening April 9 and 10 featured performances by about 100 of its students. Creative Ej offers private music lessons, band instruction and group classes at a facility it opened last fall on Treynorth Drive, off N.C. 115.

Havana Social Club is the Palace's other anchor.

Details: 704-655-2001;

Former mill's fence coming down Monday

Fences are scheduled to be torn down at 11 a.m. Monday on the former Burlington Industries property to make way for a large furniture store.

The fences were scheduled to be removed early this month, but work was postponed due to heavy rain, developer Michael Bay said.

Bay also announced last week he's changed the name of the furniture store that will occupy part of the complex, which formerly was Mooresville Mills, from Wow! Home Furnishings to Merinos Home Furnishings Warehouse. Merino is a breed of sheep prized for its high-quality wool, Bay said.

The store plans to open in early May and have a grand opening in late summer, when it is fully stocked.