Sportsplex construction starts

No improvements planned for Tank Town Road entrance, sidewalk nears completion

by Kara Lopp

Construction started this week in Matthews for the county’s regional sportsplex (above) as Matthews town employees finish sidewalks along the street in anticipation of the project’s completion. Kara Lopp/MMHW photo

Tree-clearing started this week off Tank Town Road in Matthews to build the Mecklenburg County Regional Sportsplex.

The work is the beginning stages of the first of two phases for the $3,019,875 project, being built by Denver, N.C.-based Eagle Wood Inc. Construction off Tank Town will take about eight months and include five synthetic, lit soccer fields and restrooms. Plans call for the complex to have a total of 12 athletic fields – all with synthetic grass – a stadium, trails, picnic shelters, a playground and more. Phase two construction is expected to begin soon after the first phase is completed, officials say.

The Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department project was first approved by Mecklenburg County voters in 2004 and 2008 and construction was originally scheduled to begin in January 2008. But the recession and the county’s self-imposed “debt diet” stalled the project until now. Matthews has committed to give $2 million to the estimated $32 million to $34 million project.

To prepare for the complex, Matthews public works crews are in the final stages of building a sidewalk along Tank Town on the opposite side of the street from the park’s entrance. But the town doesn’t plan to make any improvements to the road, town spokeswoman Annette Privette Keller said “because we know that the main entrance is going to open,” she said. “It’s just a few fields (off Tank Town), so the traffic will be light.” The park’s main entrance, part of the second phase planned for 2013-14, will be off East John Street across from the Greylock subdivision.

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