Rock­mart boys head to state as re­gion run­ners-up, and the Lady Jack­ets take a fourth seed spot.

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

Open­ing day ac­tiv­i­ties at the new ball fields, across from the Nathan Dean Sports Com­plex in Rock­mart, has been sched­uled for Satur­day, March 12.

Plans for the new sports com­plex were of­fi­cially launched in 2011 af­ter doc­u­ments were signed for the $150,000 prop­erty pur­chase from Pro­fes­sional Realty Group, Cartersvil­le.

Ini­tial cost es­ti­mates for the three-phase pro­ject was $860,000 in Spe­cial Pur­pose Lo­cal Op­tion Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds.

The fields are de­signed as a wagon wheel type com­plex with four uni­ver­sal fields for dif­fer­ent sport­ing events. It in­cludes a con­ces­sion stand, lo­cat- ed in the middle along with re­strooms. About 200 park­ing spa­ces are also in­cluded.

“Ev­ery­one an­tic­i­pates the open­ing of this new recre­ational area in March,” Miller said. “It is an­other way

to en­hance the qual­ity of life for our cit­i­zens.”

He said only a few mi­nor tasks re­main be­fore the ball fields are ready for use.

“I was out there a few days ago,” he said. “We burned the lights to de­ter­mine if ev­ery­thing was suf­fi­cient. I was pleased to see ev­ery­thing is work­ing well.”

The base­ball and soft­ball fields have not been named, but Miller ex­pects that to be an­nounced soon.

“Coun­cil mem­bers have dis­cussed op­tions, but no vote has been taken,” he said.

Jeff Hulsey, di­rec­tor, Rock­mart Recre­ation Depart­ment, said he met re­cently with La­mar Gil­bert of the Ge­or­gia Soft­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (GSA).

This group has agreed to uti­lize the field 16 days dur­ing the spring and sum­mer. The com­pet­i­tive events will draw 25 teams from across Ge­or­gia.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the fields will be used for League play dur­ing the week and travel teams on week­ends.

Mean­while, Miller will be­gin ne­go­ti­a­tions for pur­chase of ad­di­tional prop­erty ad­join­ing the ball fields fol­low­ing a vote of ap­proval by city coun­cil mem­bers.

Miller said pur­chase of about 2 acres of prop- erty would open up the view of the ball fields and sports com­plex once the wooded area is cleared.

“We have dis­cussed fu­ture uses for this small area of land,” he said. “One of th­ese is a dog park.”

He em­pha­sized that no de­ci­sion has been made and any fu­ture plan would re­quire coun­cil ap­proval.

Agnes Ha­gin/SJ

The new ball fields in Rock­mart will pro­vide needed space for base­ball and soft­ball games plus pro­vide a site for trav­el­ing teams and over­flow from other venues in the area.

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