By Amanda Ensinger
The Galloway Road Sports Complex has officially completed phase one of the multiple year project. Now Prairie Township officials are discussing when to officially open the complex to the public.
“While we are hosting youth soccer programs and did have a fishing program, the park is not officially open yet,” said Prairie Township Administrator Rob Peters. “We are going to be discussing with the board how they want to move forward with opening the complex.”
The 111-acre sports complex features baseball fields, soccer fields, a walking trail and a fishing pond. Everything in phase one of the project is complete except for the baseball fields and installation of those is expected to be complete this fall.
Besides the facilities highlighted above, phase one of the project also included a parking lot, irrigation system, restrooms and concession stand, all of which are complete.
“The project will be completed in phases, so now we will start focusing on phase two of the project,” Peters said. “Phase two will include an access road and a portion of the parking lot.”
Phase two of the project also will include an artificial turf field that will be designed specifically for individuals with special needs. This field would allow individuals with special needs to experience the joy and camaraderie that comes from being a part of a team and will be available to both children and adults.
The field will have a hard surface and will be an artificial turf, according to township leadership. This would allow people in crutches or who use wheelchairs to more easily use the field and won’t be as restricting for them as a natural field would be.
“All sports will be able to be played on this field, including soccer, football and other field sports,” Peters said. “If the money is raised for this field, construction of it would start in 2020 during phase two of the project.”
The township needs to raise approximately $2 million for the field and plans to have that raised by April 2020. Currently, the township has over $700,000 raised toward the project.
The money raised for the field is through the Prairie Township Community Fund, a group that is funded under the umbrella of the Columbus Foundation, and allows community stakeholders to raise funds for projects within the township.
The mission of the organization is to enhance the quality of life in the greater Prairie Township area by enriching traditions and supporting innovation through leadership and giving.
The Columbus Foundation is a philanthropic adviser to 2,500 individuals, families and businesses who have created charitable funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others.
Money for the project will continue to be raised by corporate and private donations, as well as other creative tactics by the Prairie Township Community Fund.
After phase two of the Galloway Road Sports Complex is complete, leadership will reevaluate the original site plans and see how much more they want to develop the complex.
“Before we say what we want to do in phase three of the project, we need to look at what we completed in phase one and two and see how we are currently utilizing the complex,” Peters said. “We also will look at the original plans we had for phase three and see if they still fit or if there is a better use for the remaining undeveloped regions of the complex.”
For those interested in donating to the Prairie Township Community Fund or learning more about the sports complex, visit www.prairietownship.org.