By Janet Jacobs
On Friday morning, the City of Corsicana conducted an impromptu groundbreaking at the new athletic complex on 45th Street. The entrance to the new park is an unmarked white gravel road running between Griffin Roughton Funeral Home and the Mini-West Warehouses storage units.
The complex will feature four baseball fields, 200 feet across each, and two 275-foot softball fields, as well as courts for volleyball and basketball, a walking or jogging path, and a fishing pond with benches. A playground will also take up a spot near the baseball fields.
The actual groundbreaking was done long ago, and already city crews and workers from the design team of 2CMD, Inc., have graded the once rolling pastureland and staked out where the concession building will go.
“We have the main fencing done. The backstops will be bricks salvaged from our street projects,” explained City Manager Connie Standridge. “The walking tracking will be all the way around. We already have the route, but we’ll work on it last.”
A stock tank has been cleaned and the dam reinforced, but the larger trees around it were left, and it will only receive an aerator fountain to be done.
The money to build the complex came primarily from a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant. Having more activities helped the city earn points on the grant application, Standridge said.
The city got a $500,000 grant from the state in 2011, and had to find matching funds for the rest of the build-out.
The project has some similar elements of those found at parks in the Metroplex, also created by 2CMD, but it’s unique to Corsicana, said designer Azeem Yasin.
“We do a lot of parks and trails,” Yasin said. “We just finished one for Flower Mound.”
The Corsicana site, which is just east of Tiger Stadium, will have a concession stand at the center of four youth baseball fields, like petals on a flower. Each side of the concession area will have broad steps, which can also double as viewer’s stands.
“The grade differential made the concession stand’s four sides challenging, and that’s what took longest,” Yasin said.
The project has to be completed by Jan. 1 under the terms of the state grant, but the developers said they expect to have it completed by Christmas.
“In the springtime you guys will be excited with people playing out here,” said Maqsood Khan, operations manager with 2CMD.
The site is the former Corsicana Nursing Home, which the city was given after an attempt to turn it into a halfway house fell apart. The city then combined the two acres on 45th Street with another 44 acres off the street to make the park. The Community Foundation helped buy the additional land for the city.
Eventually, the site will also be the home of a new fire station and a new animal shelter, although the bonds haven’t been sold for the fire station yet, and the animal shelter is still but a gleam in the eyes of the Humane Society.