, 2022-08-05 06:06:29,
The SportsPlex in Milton continues to get bigger and better.
The multi-year process of building upon the SportsPlex around Milton’s Clyde L. Gracey Community Center is moving along with a set of four outdoor basketball courts set as one of the current focal points.
The courts will supplement the tennis courts, baseball diamonds, skate park, disc golf park and BMX track already there.
Milton’s Director of Public Relations Stephen Prestesater told the News Journal the courts will sit in between several ball parks and the skate park.
City Councilman Jeff Snow remembers when there used to be basketball courts at the location, adding that it’s a component that has been missing for around a decade.
“So, we have some great tennis courts. And years ago, we had basketball courts that had been there for well over 30 years that the community used daily. It was torn down to bring in the great tennis courts,” Snow said. “The problem is they never replaced the basketball courts and the kids have been going without for years. And that’s unfortunate.”
Both Prestesater and Snow mentioned that external factors, like companies experiencing personnel and supply issues, have altered their confidence in providing an accurate timeline on the project. But Snow said, with the way the project’s progressing, he could see the land cleared and construction started by the end of the year.
According to documents between the city and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the courts themselves will cost around $300,000, while the entire current sports complex project – which includes the likes of restroom, parking and landscaping improvements – will cost closer to $800,000.
Snow said he has always loved basketball and has been hearing for years that the lack of courts at the complex was something that also was on residents’ minds.
“You have all the kids that want to play late-night and, if the indoor gyms are closed for a certain time, they can always play outside,” Snow said. “And plus, our basketball program really has exploded for our recreational leagues and summer leagues and we just need more practice areas.”
Back in 2020, the council unanimously approved budget amendments that shifted funding around for various parks or recreation projects that were either already underway or slated to begin soon, ushering in a wave of improvements that include funding for items like the splash pad at Carpenter’s Park, new basketball courts at Lucille…
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