Clarkdale Recreation Project

Work has started on a second recreational project in Lauderdale County. Tommy Galyean donated 20 acres for the complex six years ago. He even moved his family home to make room for the development.

"There are a lot of things that people talk about and want to do. That was one of the things that I could do to help this project along," says Galyean.

Lauderdale County paid for dirt work at the site almost five years ago. Since then, a church soccer league has started to use the available fields.

"We're in our second year," says Jeff Oates, who is the associate pastor for New Hope Baptist Church. " We had 60 participants last year and we're at over 100 this year. So, we're encouraged and we really want to see something done out here."

According to Oates, some participants in the soccer league drive from as far away as DeKalb, which is almost 45 minutes away from the fields.

In recent years the county placed bleachers, fencing and portable bathrooms at the site. Earlier this week county supervisors approved a bond that's set to provide $2.5 million to complete this project.

"We'll have four 200 foot baseball fields that you can play baseball or softball on them, and one 300 foot baseball field," says Scott Espey, who is the treasurer of the Clarkdale Community Recreation Association. "We'll have a football field that can be transformed into a soccer field, tennis courts and a walking trail and also a playground for the kids."

"I feel like once it is completed and people get involved and start hosting tournaments, the sky is the limit!" says Greg Chatham, who is the secretary for the Clarkdale Community Recreation Association. "There will be an economic impact because these people who are coming here are going to spend money. They're going to stay in motels; they're going to buy gas; they're going to buy food. So, like I say, this is just the beginning!"

If all goes as planned, officials with the Clarkdale Community Recreation Association say work on the sports complex will be finished within the next two years.

The Clarkdale project is located five miles from the interstate off Valley Road. It sits on 20 acres of land and will include at least one concession stand, and field lighting for night games.


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