After more than three years of planning, residents of Murray witnessed as construction crews broke ground on the city’s newest addition – a recreation complex.
The Murray recreation complex will consist of three ball fields for baseball and softball, additional fields for T-ball and soccer, basketball court, and playground, which will be wrapped by a 1/2 mile walking trail.
The project, designed by Bolton & Menk Engineering and Planning, is estimated to cost $1.4 million. The funds for the first of the three phase project – $800,000 – has been raised. The first phase was funded with grants and donations from the following organizations: The Dekko Foundation ($500,000), Clarke County Development Corporation ($160,000), Iowa Department of Transportation CAP Grant (($100,000), American State Bank ($25,000), Casey’s General Store ($5,000), and community donors.
Denise Simmons, Murray city administrator, said phase one will include grading and seeding the main fields, installing drainage and utilities, and installing fencing. The fields are slated to be ready by Spring 2020.
The second phase, estimated to cost $350,000, will consist of completing the walking trail, concessions building, playground, basketball court and the installation of scoreboards, lighting and bleachers.
Phase three will include finishing work – landscaping and paving the parking lot.
Simmons said the idea of the recreation complex was first developed by the Murray board or parks and recreation and felt it would be a great improvement for the community.
“Most of the time it is wet and kind of marshy there, so they’ve had to cancel a lot of games,” she said.
She also said the concession stand will help attract more people.
“It’s hard to get people to come to games when you don’t have a nice facility,” she said.
Simmons said the new field will be safer and inclusive.
“One of the biggest things Murray has going for it is its school system. By being able to have (the ball fields) close ... right across the street to the school, it’s going to be easier for the kids to get to ball practice,” Simmons said. “More kids will be able to do it. There will be a great area for people walking and running. It’s going to be huge and it really impacts the community.”
The ground for the future recreation complex is owned Murray Development Corporation. Once the fields are complete, the city will transfer its current ball fields to MDC for future housing.
Donations for phase two and three may be mailed to City of Murray, 420 Maple St., P.O. Box 186, Murray, IA 50174, or in person at American State Bank, 101 N. Main St. in Osceola.