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Friday, December 8, 2023

Leesburg takes first step in construction of new $7.9 million sports complex

Leesburg commissioners have taken the first step in the construction of a new $7.9 million sports complex.

The new complex will be built on the site of the old Susan Street Sports Complex. Commissioners on Monday approved $562,800 for an engineering study for the new facility. 

Parks and Recreation Director Travis Rima outlined the department’s plan to demolish the existing complex and create a destination facility for rectangle sports such as football, soccer and rugby.

The plan for the new Susan Street Sports Complex
The plan for the new Susan Street Sports Complex.

The plan calls for a stadium with a grandstand and turf surface, four grass rugby size multi-purpose fields and one soccer size multi-purpose field. A field house with concessions, restrooms and locker rooms would be constructed as would bleachers for the auxiliary fields. The plan calls for parking in the northeast corner of the project with an entrance to the complex off of U.S. Hwy. 27.

The proposed entrance off of U.S. Hwy. 27 would be sited near the Big Lots store. The city has access to the site off of Susan Street but the staff has recommended negotiating with the property owners along U.S. Hwy. 27 for the access off that highway as it would provide a more direct access point for users and provide additional customers for retail outlets in the area.

In addition to the cost of the engineering study, the estimated cost of the complex would be $7.116 million. The entrance road would cost an additional $253,332. Property acquisition for the entrance remains to be determined. 

The city would finance the project with $3 million of federal money from the American Rescue Plan, a Lake County Tourist Development Tax Grant of $1.996 million, a legislative priority grant of $750,000 and city funds from the fiscal year budget of $2.066 million.

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