Sports Complex Upgrade Project
The City of Beloit Sports Complex currently has a shortage of playing surfaces, is not currently contiguous, and lacks parking. The goal of the sports complex upgrade is to increase the number of playing surfaces to meet game and practice demand, bring all the fields within one complex, create a more efficient physical building plan lower upkeep, and increase parking for the sports complex as well as the USD 273 football/track complex. Additionally, in order to keep impact low the project will be primarily funded by grants and donations.
Concept Plan *The field marked with a 5 will be oriented to match the field marked with a 6.
Phase I: Planning Process (2017-2021)
The planning process for the sports complex upgrade plan included a K-State Extension First Impressions Tour, community involved Strategic Doing process led by Dane G. Hansen Foundation, with the above concept developed by a Dane G. Hansen community intern. Kelsie DeWitt, our community intern, met with community stakeholders including Rotarians, Lion's Club members, baseball/softball coaches, and the USD 273 school district in developing the plan. The concept include moving Cooke Field (Lion's Field) into the actual complex, utilizing the former space for a 200+ vehicle parking lot, building a future youth/softball field (marked as field 7), consolidating all bathrooms, concessions, and maintenance facilities into one fieldhouse located in the middle of the complex, updating the playground into an accessible playground system, and adding sidewalks/signage throughout the complex. The plan provides solutions for the shortage of playing surfaces, creating a contiguous complex, solving the parking shortage for the complex and football/track facility, and utilizes existing facilities to reduce the cost of the upgrade.
Phase II: Land Acquisition (2019-2021)
The current complex had a mixed land ownership which consisted of USD 273, the State of Kansas, and the Mitchell County Fair Board. Over the last couple of years, through acquisition, legislative action, and swapping- the City of Beloit was able to fully acquire the ground the sports complex sits on. This has now provided the greenlight to start pursuing grants and other investors to make significant changes to the complex.
Phase III: Field Relocation (2021-2022)
For several years, the Cooke Baseball Field has been in need of improvement in terms of lighting, bathrooms, and hitting cages. In addition, the field sits across the road from the rest of the complex which makes it more difficult to support in terms of field prep, mowing, and maintenance. After meeting with stakeholder parties, it was determined that moving Cooke Field to its new home across the street would solve the issue of parking for the area as well as provide for a field that was within our sports complex boundaries. Dirt work for this will begin in June of 2021 with the field slated to move at the end of the season in preparation for 2022. The field will be upgraded to include updated lighting, new hitting cage, and built in bullpens for both dugouts. In addition, the area vacated will be transformed into a 200+ vehicle parking lot that should be read late fall '21/early spring '22.
Future phases of the project as grant and donations allow would include the following:
1. New youth baseball/softball hybrid field (marked as field 7) *youth flag football and youth soccer will have locations to play across the street south of the former state juvenile facility.
2. Fieldhouse centrally located that would include concessions, maintenance, bathrooms, covered picnic tables, and an indoor hitting throwing facility.
3. Accessible playground centrally located that will provide activities for all abilities.
4. Signage and sidewalks that clearly mark and navigate the complex.