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Bidding begins for Sparta rec complex | News

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Bidding begins for Sparta rec complex

SPARTA, Mich. (WZZM) - The Sparta Recreational Authority is beginning the first stages of preparing for a new Community Recreational Complex.

On Thursday, June 6, the SRA will review engineering firms to determine who will work on the $3 million project.

In March, Sparta Township purchased an 80 acre plot on north State Street near E. Mark Street. Officials then created the Sparta Recreational Authority, which will oversee the project. The appointed board is made up of leaders from Sparta Township, the Village of Sparta and the Sparta Area Recreation Association.

Sparta village manager Martin Super is a member of the Sparta Recreational Authority. He says the Community Recreational Complex will be created in three phases; the first phase will cost about $1 million and involve creating baseball and softball fields as well as at least one football field and one soccer field. The additional two phases would include adding a sledding hill, nature trails, disc golf course and an indoor sports facility.

Super says the Community Recreational Complex would consolidate sports game locations so parents don't have to pick one child's event over another's. He says the facilities would also provide better space to play sports, as well as adequate parking. Super says in the end, the Community Recreational Complex will save the area money and boost local businesses, since out of town visitors must travel through Sparta to reach the facility. Super says studies have shown $50 to $200 is spent locally for each visiting athlete.

Super says the Sparta Community Recreational Complex will differ from the Miracle League facilities in Rockford because Sparta's space will include fields and for a variety of sports.

The Sparta Recreational Authority plans to use seed money from the Downtown Development Authority to begin preliminary engineering, which will make the project eligible for grants. The Sparta Area Recreation Association would lead fundraising efforts after that. Super says project leaders will resort to fundraisers and grants before considering levying a millage.

If all goes well, construction on the first phase of the project would begin this fall or next spring.