Troy purchases acreage at Sportsplex

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 15, 2001

Staff Writer

Troy’s Sportsplex has become synonymous with the crack of the bat.

Saturdays and spring evenings are spent at the ballpark that has several baseball and softball fields, as well as soccer fields and a batting cage on 60-plus acres.

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But, more is to come.

In October 2000, the Troy City Council voted to purchase more land to bring the Sportsplex up to 88 acres.

Cost of the land, which will allow for future growth was $230,000. It will be paid for with a short-term loan.

The Sportsplex, which was opened in 1991 is the Troy Parks and Recreation Department’s largest responsibility, but is also one of the city’s biggest draws by hosting tournaments.

With the recreation department growing by leaps and bounds, the city went ahead and purchased the land for expansion although there are not any absolute plans on the drawing board.

"We envision quite a few needs," said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. "We chose to go ahead and purchase the land while it was available."

Lunsford said, "as money permits," the city will expand at the Sportsplex.

When that money is available, Dan Smith, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, will be ready.

"I am hearing, since opening day, more and more people say they want an indoor swimming pool and community center," Smith said.

He said purchase of the land may be the first step in that direction.

Smith’s dream is to have a community center with meeting rooms, two full-size basketball courts, racquetball courts, an area for aerobics classes, overhead indoor walking track and child care for those who are exercising.

"I’m going to strive for that," Smith said of wanting to serve the entire community with such a facility.

But, Smith said the city also "desperately" needs youth baseball fields to prevent scheduling conflicts between practices and games of both softball and baseball teams.

In those big dreams, Smith wants to keep a portion of the Sportsplex open for playing frisbee and other activities.