Athletic Complex & Park
In March of 2023, after many meetings with a steering committee, special interest groups in the community, a public meeting, public surveys, OHM Advisors created the final draft recommendations for an updated Park and Trail Master Plan and concept renderings. The system-wide park recommendations are shown below that include “centralized ballfields into a future Athletic Complex”.
This was not entirely a surprise since this was a recommendation in the last park master plan the City performed in 2006. Due to the continued need in the community, the City had been on the lookout for years for a site large enough to be suitable for such a facility. A 205 acre parcel, known by many as the “Brickyard” on the south side of the City was identified and recently purchased. This property has many possible uses, but the two main (preliminary) uses identified are:
- A state of the art athletic complex on the northern 70 acres that could include multiple baseball / softball fields, other sports fields such as soccer / lacrosse, and a tennis / pickleball court feature. Additional amenities such as a multi use walking / running trails, playground, rentable gathering facility, and open lawn are possibilities.
- A large passive park on the lower 130 acres that has changing elevations with woods, ponds, and open areas. Amenities could include walking / hiking / running / mountain biking trails, recreational trails, access for fishing to ponds, open prairies, pavilions and restroom facilities are possibilities.
Although we are in preliminary phases of planning the City has performed due diligence items such as phase I and II environmental analysis, property appraisals, designed conceptual plans, prepared high-level cost estimates, and received quotes for site cleanup. Our consultant is currently researching additional funding opportunities.
- 2023: This fall, the City will begin an engagement process with the community to determine the defined needs, amenities, and timing for completion. Preliminary designs can then be created and cost estimates for budgeting can be determined. The City will then determine if the next step can be included in the 2024 budget.
- 2024: Detailed engineering and design
- 2025: Construction of Phase I Improvements and Athletic Complex and Parks
More on the Brickyard Property:
The Wadsworth Brick and Tile Company opened in 1904 and was a major supplier of bricks and clay tiles for construction in the local area and around the country. The operations provided bricks for the construction of many well known Wadsworth buildings such as the Match Factory and the Injector buildings as well as schools such as CIS, and the old Lincoln, Franklin, Valley View and Overlook. Akron rubber companies also used their brick and the tile was used when building Fort Knox, where our country's gold reserves are stored! The company ceased operations in the 2000’s and has remained vacant ever since with farming operations on parts of the land.