$25 million sports facility improvements planned for Springfield
Artificial turf will be installed on 19 playing fields at Killian Softball Complex, Cooper Park and Lake Country Soccer.
The City of Springfield is beginning millions of dollars of improvements to sports facilities on the east-central side of town.
The $25 million project will be completed in two phases.
In Phase one, synthetic turf will be installed on eight Cooper Park/Lake Country Soccer fields on the north side of Pythian Street, and a soccer stadium environment will be developed. Other projects include new soccer field restrooms and locker rooms, new soccer field concessions, ADA-accessible walkways, additional soccer parking and additional shade and fan-friendly areas.
In phase two, synthetic turf will be installed on six fields at Killian softball complex and the fields at Cooper Youth Baseball Complex, At Killian, additional seating will be added, as well as new concessions and restrooms. One youth field at Cooper will be converted to a stadium-style environment, the restrooms and concessions at the Cooper Youth Baseball Complex will be renovated, and shade and fan-friendly areas will be added.
In all, 19 playing fields — which are currently grass — will get artificial turf, said Bob Belote, director of parks for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.
He said when the project is finished, Cooper Park will be home to three anchor facilities: Cooper Tennis Complex, Lake Country Soccer and Killian and Cooper complexes.
"Each of these facilities already hosts several championship competitions throughout the year," Belote said, "but with these improvements we can compete for even more and larger and even more national types of events."
To pay for all this, the city will use $13.5 million in American Recovery Plan Act funds awarded by the state of Missouri, $7.3 million in ARPA funds awarded by the City of Springfield and just over $631,000 contributed by the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional money will need to be raised, and Belote said naming rights are still available.