By Amanda Ensinger
Prairie Township is contemplating the future of its sports complex and recently held a special meeting on the matter.
At the meeting, Prairie Township Administrator Rob Peters started by giving some background on the property.
“The 111 acres was purchased in 2013 by the Prairie Township trustees for $600,000,” Peter said. “Under $3 million in grants were received for development of the park and $1.6 million was allocated to the park by the township. The Galloway Baseball Club has donated $790,000 to date, which has helped to expedite building more fields, including high school and youth diamonds with turf infields that are under construction now.”
Residents provided feedback on improvements and revisions they would like to see to the park, including the need for turning lanes on Galloway Road. Residents also asked about drainage, as well as plans for the remaining fields on the property.
“There will be drainage installed,” said Dave McAninch, service director for the township. “The Galloway Baseball Club also plans to convert the remaining four fields to turf over the next two years.”
Leadership also said there are no plans to purchase acreage for sale next to the complex.
Other amenities residents said they would like to see at the park include lights to the trail, a dog park with separate areas for large and small dogs, pickleball courts that could be used to host tournaments, a storage area for pickleball paddles and squeegees, guard rails by the path near Galloway Road, and landscaping.
“There is a landscaping plan that includes planting trees,” McAninch said. “Tree planting may start this fall.”
Residents also asked about an update on the One Field. Earlier this year, the township accepted a $1 million grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for the One Field Project at the Galloway Road Sports Complex.
The One Field project includes creating an artificial turf field for the township that is designed specifically for individuals with special needs. The field will have a hard surface, allowing people in crutches or wheelchairs to use the field more easily. The field will be used for soccer, football and other field sports.
According to Michael Pollack, director of the community center, the goal is to create an innovative field that makes playing sports more accessible to all.
Township officials did not give an update on when the field will be complete, but did say the cost of the field is approximately $980,000.