The Spokane Valley Junior Soccer Association and Spokane County hope to begin work this summer on a planned 70-acre sports complex in the Spokane Valley that eventually would include 13 soccer fields and five softball diamonds.
The $1.1 million complex, to be called Plantes Ferry Regional Sports Complex, would be developed on county land between Wellesley Avenue and Trent Road just east of Plantes Ferry Park.
The complex, which would be built in two phases, also would include playground and picnic areas, a trail system throughout the park, and a 4,200-square-foot concession stand, says Gib Brumback, a Spokane Valley businessman and one of the project coordinators for the soccer association.
The first phase of the project would include the construction of five of the soccer fields, two of the softball diamonds, the concession stand, a parking lot, and landscaping. That work would be done on about 30 acres on the western portion of the site. The work is expected to begin in two months and would cost about $600,000, says Brumback. He says that portion of the park would be ready for public use by the fall of 1998.
Half of the estimated $600,000 cost of that part of the complex is expected to come from a state grant, which was included in the capital budget passed by the Legislature on Monday, says Laura Johnson, director of the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation. She says Gov. Gary Locke has five days to sign or veto the capital budget.
The soccer association will have to match the state grant dollar for dollar and expects to be able to do so with equipment donations, volunteer labor, and a $200,000 appropriation from Spokane County, Brumback says.
Wyn Birkenthal, the countys parks and recreation manager, says the county expects to contribute the $200,000 to cover construction of the two softball fields to be built in the first phase, as well as related infrastructure. A public hearing on the appropriation is scheduled for April 29.
The soccer association would raise the other $100,000 in donations of equipment and cash, plus through volunteer labor, Brumback says.
David Evans & Associates Inc., of Spokane, designed the master plan. A contractor and engineer for the first phase wont be selected until later, Brumback says.
The second phase of the project would include construction of the other eight soccer fields and three softball diamonds. Brumback says the soccer association has raised $100,000 of the estimated $500,000 it needs for that phase, and hopes to raise the rest of the money by the end of this summer.
If funds for both phases can be raised by this fall, the group would go ahead with development of all 13 soccer fields at the same time, Brumback says. The three additional softball fields would be built by the county at a later date.
Plantes Ferry Park is a small, nine-acre park to the west of the proposed sports complex. In 1991, the county bought the 70 acres of land to the east with the hope of constructing a sports complex. But when funds for the project didnt materialize, commissioners sought out nonprofit groups willing to spearhead the development effort, Birkenthal says. The Valley soccer association was the only group to respond with a favorable package, he says.
The soccer association serves about 3,300 youngsters on more than 270 teams, Brumback says.
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