Game Change: Supers to take bids on 82-acre sports complex
By Dwayne Bremer
Jan 14, 2014, 18:32
An artist's conception of the new Hancock County Sports Complex shows baseball, soccer, and football fields. The board of supervisors is expected to bid the project next month.
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors will be going out for bids soon on a new public sports complex on 82 acres of land northwest of Highways 603 and 43.
Board of Supervisors Vice-President Steve Seymour said Tuesday that the county acquired a provisional permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and now is only lacking a storm-water permit from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality before it can move forward.
"We are hoping the DEQ permit comes in soon," Seymour said. "This sports complex is going to be beautiful. It's going to be one of the nicest ones on the coast."
Last week, the board authorized county land acquisition attorney Jack Pittman to make a fair market offer on the property on behalf of the board.
The price of the land is approximately $630,000, Seymour said.
Once the county receives the title to the land and the DEQ permit, it will advertise for construction bids, Seymour said.
The complex has been in the works for several years.
The county has received funds to build it through a Community Development Block Grant after Hurricane Katrina.
Seymour said the complex will consist of eight baseball/softball fields, 10 soccer fields, and two football fields. Bathrooms, concession stands, and other amenities will also be constructed, he said.
Supervisors also plan to use the current Kiln hurricane shelter, which is located on the property, as an indoor training facility when the shelter is not being occupied.
"This is going to be something really nice for our kids," Seymour said. "We are hoping it will also help our local businesses and possibly spur some hotel development in the area."
The complex will be available for team sports and children from the entire county.
The county complex will operate separately from other public sports in the area and it will also be competing for the same tournaments.
Despite this, officials say the county's complex will only enhance youth sports in the area.
Once bids are accepted, Seymour said, the project will most likely take about a year to complete.