CROWN POINT | Officials will mark the finish of the latest round of work on the Crown Point-owned sports complex with a formal dedication Thursday.
The three new softball fields installed in the 95-acre complex on the city's east side are sized for adult play and were designed to give the city an edge in luring tournaments.
"The softball complex will be the new standard on what a playing facility should be for premier game action," Mayor David Uran said.
The fields are some of the first in the area to have a built-in water irrigation and sprinkler system, which will improve safety and playability and put the fields in contention for outside tournament play, city officials said.
New concession and restroom facilities, fencing, lighting and improved parking were added as part of the second phase of work, costing a total about $3.5 million.
The dedication is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the sports complex, 1300 E. North St.
The work concluded just as demolition began in another area of the complex of older structures and playing equipment on fields geared to girls league softball.
The planned third round of work, estimated to cost $4 million, will install four new youth-sized playing fields to replace existing ones. One of the four will be designed with enhanced seating for tournament play.
A concession and restroom building and paved parking for up to 650 cars are included, along with improved lighting and the extension of Bulldog Boulevard to the area at the south end of the complex.
The work is expected to be finished by the start of the 2014 girls softball season.
The latter rounds of work complement a first phase, which saw the construction of two football/soccer fields made of artificial turf. Other work included improved parking, lighting, concession and restrooms, all at the northeast end of the complex, which fronts the 1300 block of North Street.
All three phases of work are expected to total an estimated $10.5 million. Funding is coming from redevelopment dollars and other sources, including $1.1 million in proceeds of an earlier sale of city-owned land and an earlier $1.5 million bond sale authorized by city officials.
Local businessman and philanthropist Dean White, through his Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation, has pledged a total $3.1 million in matching funds.
A year-round, indoor sports dome also could be in store for the complex.
A local couple, Tae'Ni and Jacqueline Chang-Stroman, in June proposed a 120,000-square-foot dome costing about $4 million for a site at the complex.
The Chang-Stromans said they would finance the project with no city involvement. Space in the complex would be leased for the dome, officials said.
Jacqueline Chang-Stroman said the couple are still working on getting financing for the project.