The Temple City Council on Monday approved acceptance of a matching $100,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant from the state that will be used to build several multi-purpose fields on 13 acres acquired last year by the city adjacent to the recreation complex. The fields will primarily be used for soccer, but will change according to the season.
“It’s being used to expand our rec department, basically,” Temple Recreation Director Thad Ferguson said.
According to Ferguson, soccer was launched as a recreation offering three years ago and has steadily continued to grow.
The recreation complex uses the football and baseball fields for soccer as needed. But with an average of about 80 kids taking part in both the spring and fall seasons additional fields are needed.
At any given time during the soccer season, nine fields are transformed from football or baseball to soccer fields. The spring season has more participation than the fall season, but not by much, Ferguson said.
“We’ve got some new soccer fields going up over there. That’s our biggest need, somewhere for them to play, because right now they’re playing on baseball fields and our football field,” Ferguson said.
The terms of the grant gives the city until December 2014 to complete the project, but officials are optimistic the fields will be completed much sooner than the deadline. Using any remaining funds, the property will likely also feature a new pavilion and playground area. In the future, the city would like to possibly add a water park and a skate park to the recreation complex.
“We’ll probably do a little at a time out there,” Ferguson said. “Soccer is our top priority, but they’ll really be multi-purpose fields that can also be used for football practice areas in the fall. In the spring though they’ll all be used for soccer.”
In other business Monday, the council:
• approved a proposal from Hughes-Ray Engineering in the amount of $60,000 for engineering and design for the first phase of the industrial park lift station.
• approved a Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation to approve a special land use permit at 321-B Sage Street for a church.
• approved accepting and picking up a donation of rocks from a private individual for use in city beautification projects.
• approved removal of Mark Ward, who no longer owns a business in downtown, from the Downtown Development Authority and appointed Ginger Dufour in his place.