Work on the Community Recreation Complex in Collinsville officially started last month. However, officials say that was only after roughly 12 years of work by the West Lauderdale Youth Association and former District 3 supervisor, Craig Hitt.
"These men and women, parents and children went out and sold and bought more chicken plates, and probably ate more chicken plates that any one person should have.' says current District 3 supervisor Josh Todd.
Selling the chicken and fish plates paid off because the West Lauderdale Youth Association ultimately raised almost $140,000 to buy 31 acres of land for the recreation complex.
"That land was donated to the county and then we executed a lease for the recreational complex when it comes to be," says Ken Wallace, who is president of the West Lauderdale Youth Association. "It will have a total of 8 fields, tennis courts, a walking trail, playground equipment, a recreational facility and anything else that we can think of to offer the community."
"We want this to grow to hold softball tournaments and baseball tournaments. We want everyone to go and enjoy," said Todd.
This year alone, 500 children signed up to play t-ball, baseball and softball with the West Lauderdale Youth Association. Supporters of the association are optimistic that once the new recreation facility opens that number will increase.
"We already have kids from Neshoba County and Newton County that play with us," said Wallace. "We hope that we grow from 500 or 600 kids. We hope to be able to expand our leagues and maybe the older kids will come back and we'll expand to tennis, pee-wee football or anything like that."
As it stands, $3.5 million of the recently approved $14 million bond issue by county supervisors will be used for the project in Collinsville. The work on it is expected to be finished within the next two years.