Summerville and Chattooga County officials may build a new soccer complex at the Fairway Recreation Center off Senior Drive.
Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters said he is willing to lease a large tract of land that joins Fairway and the Stockade Road Garbage Transfer Station. Summerville Recreation Director Bo Chamlee said this is enough room to build two soccer fields and provide additional parking. "I think it is going to help us a lot," Chamlee said. Space is becoming an issue at the city's main recreation complex on Highway 100 near the high school. Each fall soccer, football, cheerleaders and coaches crowd into that area to practice. "We had three football teams practicing on one baseball field last year," Chamlee said.
Finding space to practice has grown into even a bigger problem since the construction of the new high school. An access road into the school took up some practice room. "It took a lot of our grass space away that we used to practice on," Chamlee said. It was cramped even before the new road was built. Last year 54 children played soccer. Another 41 cheerleaders and 116 football players also used those fields at the same time. "We are looking at the city using the old fairground property for some type of soccer field. I support that 100 percent. If they can do something to develop the property for recreation, we are willing to help them," Commissioner Winters said. The county will lease the property to the city for 50 years for $1. "There is not an effective use we have for the property. We are not looking to building anything there," Commissioner Winters said. The unused land consists of about five to six acres. Chamlee said additional parking will be added toward Stockade Road side. One of the regulation sized soccer fields will be used as an all-purpose field for other sports teams to practice on. This proposed soccer complex is still in its infancy.
The county and city have not signed the lease agreement yet. And, the city hasn't put together a cost analysis for building these fields. Chamlee said the fields won't cost too much. The city will haul in chert but will have to purchase topsoil. The city will also have to purchase bleachers and either gravel or asphalt for the new parking area. "The biggest cost one day is when we have to light both fields. That is going to cost us some money," Chamlee said. He predicts that lighting two soccer fields will cost the city about $100,000.