Decatur City Council approves $72 million new softball complex, recreation center

WAFF 48's Romario Gardner reporting
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 12:04 AM CST
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Major parks and recreation upgrades are heading to the River City with a high price tag.

Decatur City Council members voted to approve the construction of a new recreation center and softball/baseball complex totaling $72 million Monday night.

$42 million dollars will come from the nearly $100 million settlement between 3M and Decatur, Morgan County, and Decatur Utilities for contamination concerns. The city will now have to go to the bond market to receive an additional $30 million.

The recreation center will be located at Wilson Morgan Park located near the current dog park and soccer field. The new center will feature an 84-foot basketball court and an Olympic pool. There will also be upgrades to the park itself with the addition of 12 covered pickleball courts.

The softball/baseball complex will be located on Modaus road will be located next to Austin High School. It will feature eight ball fields with artificial turf, concession stands, and a press box.

The new recreation center will be in Councilman Hunter Pepper’s district and he said it’s worth it.

“Everybody’s going to have access to the largest rec center in the city. Not only the most advanced rec center, and the newest rec center. But hands down the best rec center we’ve built,” said Pepper.

Councilman Billy Jackson voted against the project. He believes the project is not serving the original community it was intended for near the Aquadome. Councilman Kyle Pike believes that is not the case.

“It’s located about as close as the center of the city as you can get,” said Pike. “Pretty easy access, it’s right off beltline road. Which just connects a lot of the roads in Decatur.”

Monique Fields lives in Decatur and said she is happy the city is taking of its citizens.

“A lot of things have changed,” said Fields. “But if they’re going to improve it and make it better, it’s just like, for generations to come. "

The entire project is expected to be completed within 3 years.

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