- Parks & Rec team, City looks forward to New Year
Parks & Rec team, City looks forward to New Year
City of Lawton leadership is pushing full steam ahead in preparation for an exciting new year with a continued mission to create a premiere community for young families to grow and thrive.
The passing of the PROPEL CIP in February 2020 allotted $20M to Parks & Recreation improvements, which will include a portion of funds to be put toward a state-of-the-art Sports Complex. Jeffery Temple, who stepped into the role of Parks & Recreation Director in November 2020, believes bringing this idea to life will reap major benefits for the Lawton community.
"What we know is that sports organizers have long wanted to come to Lawton because of its central location and that they are willing to create new tournaments to promote the area," Temple said. "There are select- and club-level tournaments happening every day and we want to build a quality facility to tap into those opportunities."
Anticipated economic and sports tourism impacts will not only showcase the treasures of Lawton Fort Sill for visitors, Temple explained, but generate new revenue streams that will contribute to additional quality of life programming for the community.
"Tournament athletes bring the entire team, their friends and their family members to these events," Temple said. "They stay in our hotels, they shop and dine; they check out the entire community over a series of days, so we see this project as a strong catalyst for community and economic development."
The Sports Complex RFP calls for the site to be developed on five to seven acres of land that is "architecturally harmonious with the neighborhood character." The facility is estimated to be approximately 85,000 sq. ft. and may contain indoor soccer fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, cardio-fitness areas and warm-up areas, locker rooms, family areas, retail and concessions, as well as centralized locations for administration/management.
An important component to the current project is that the community will have the opportunity to provide input on what should be included in the facility, Temple explained. Lawtonians taking part in the process of designing this new community cornerstone is imperative.
"We want our citizens to have a hands-on role in where their tax dollars are going," said City Manager Michael Cleghorn. "We are incredibly excited to work with community members in this process – the groundwork for a project that will undoubtedly move our city in the right direction and create a more desirable Lawton for all."
The first example concept designs for the sports complex are expected to be ready for community input by Spring 2021; final plans may be brought to Lawton City Council for approval in late 2021.
"Facilities such as the proposed Sports Complex are essential to attracting and retaining families to Lawton," said Lawton Mayor Stan Booker, who worked tediously with youth development specialists during the development of PROPEL. "The Sports Complex and other family-focused projects provide a structure through organized sports that are critical to our children's development."
For more information on this or other quality of life programs facilitated by the City of Lawton's Parks and Recreation Department, contact Jeffery Temple at 580.581.3400 or at @email.