New parks and recreation soccer complex will feature six fieldsPublished 10:53am Wednesday, September 11, 2013
With a growing recreational soccer program, Alexander City Parks and Rec has been taking steps to grow with it.
The department – along with various departments within the city – has been hard at work in constructing a soccer complex to accommodate league participants.
According to Sonny Wilson, director of Alexander City Parks and Rec, this is all a part of the plan.
“Our soccer program is up to about 180 kids,” Wilson said. “When I took this job two years ago, we did a two-year, five-year and 10-year master plan. We looked at what our biggest need was, and it turned out that we needed a soccer complex.”
The need for a soccer complex arose when there were not enough free surfaces for the recreational sports to go on without a hitch.
“We had people practicing for and playing four sports on five fields, and it wasn’t enough,” Wilson said.
According to Wilson, the complex will cover enough ground to house six youth fields, or two high-school regulation fields. Two of the fields are close to completion, with sod-laying set to start on other fields within the next two or three weeks.
Wilson said the project couldn’t have come to fruition without a citywide effort.
“To get something like this done, you have to have support of the mayor and the council,” Wilson said. “They have seen the need for it, and they see how it can help the community.”
Upon completion of the fields, Wilson said the department would move to the next phase of the project: building a concession stand.
This, along with every step of the complex’s construction, will be funded and constructed through a collaborative effort of departments of Alexander City.
“The city is doing all of this work in-house, and it’s saving us a ton of money,” Wilson said. “It’s been amazing how all of the city departments have come together to build this. Every department in the city has had their hands on this, and I think it’s something that this city should be proud of.”
In addition to helping grow the presence of recreational soccer among locals, Wilson said the new complex would bring an economic benefit to Alexander City.
“We’re looking at ways to bring a lot of soccer tournaments into town, and these days there are soccer tournaments going on almost year round,” Wilson said. “This is another avenue to bring people into Alexander City. When we host tournaments here, parents will see that they don’t have to spend so much money every week at other places. For the kids that want to play, their parents will be more apt to let them play.”
Wilson added that the soccer complex has shown what Alexander City is capable of when it works as a team.
“This isn’t something that’s just for Parks and Rec,” Wilson said. “I don’t think people understand how lucky we are to have the people we have helping us with these things. With the knowledge these people have and their help, there’s not much we can’t do in-house.”