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Connections 2017

Goldsboro News Argus - Progress Edition

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36 The future multisport complex that will be built by the city of Goldsboro on Sey- mour Johnson Air Force Base will signify the continued partnership between the base and community. The 62-acre property, along Oak Forest Road, is expected to open in March 2018, with construction starting on the property within months, said Randy Guthrie, Goldsboro assistant city manager. By the fall, the majority of the work in adding eight multiuse sporting fields and other site work will be com- plete. Buildings, including concessions, restrooms and picnic shelters, and the park- ing lot, will be finished by the spring of 2018. "We consider us and the base as great partners," Guthrie said. "We're very sup- portive of the base, and we value our relationship with the base immensely. "We were looking for a field to do our multisport complex. This is a very good piece of property. It's very flat. It's not in a flood plain, has a great location, (and) it's easily acces- sible by the military and oth- ers." The city of Goldsboro and the U.S. Air Force signed a 20-year lease in March 2016 that paved the way for the construction of the sport complex on the perimeter of the base, a vacant area previously used for base housing. The agreement includes the city's com- mitment to offer sport programming, access to the fields and the construc- tion of a 2,500- square-foot addi- tion to the base's fitness center. The fitness center addi- tion will also be fin- ished by March 2018, Guthrie said. The city has already set aside $600,000, the expected cost of the expansion. The complex will be operated and maintained by the city of Goldsboro. The price tag for completing the property is between $6 mil- lion and $8 million, with the majority of the work being com- pleted with the city's $3 million, low-inter- est loan from Wayne County and $3 million in general obligation bond proceeds. The $3 million bond was overwhelmingly support- ed by voters during the November election. "We have about $6 million to spend, at this time, and, obviously, the overall cost will depend, ultimately, on how many fields we convert over to arti- ficial turf," Guthrie said. "For our ini- tial first phase, we're looking at doing two of them as artificial turf." The eight fields can be used for several sports, including soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, football or any other sport that utilizes the rectangular-shaped fields, Guthrie said. The two artificial turf fields will allow for play during adverse weather, and the remaining six will have different grades of grass for athletic events. "It will be a high-quality field with artifi- cial turf fields, which makes it a little more weather proof, and you can get some more events in, like recreation games," Guthrie said. "It's more playable in adverse weather conditions." Many of today's athletic complexes include more durable playing fields that can withstand bad weather conditions in an effort to draw large-scale tournaments and local tourism revenue. Some work has started on the property, with the current addition of an 8-foot-high black steel security fence that is being installed around the 62-acre site, in an effort to open the area for development. The city contracted with Seegars Fence Co. to buy and install the fence, at a $458,926 cost. "It's almost a mile worth of fencing, so it took a while to get all the materials in, and New ground is broken and prepared for a multisports complex at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. The proposed 62-acre facility will be a joint venture between the base and the city of Goldsboro. Baseball, basketball, football, track and field –– you name it, you can soon play it at Goldsboro/Seymour Johnson's shared multisports complex. Story by ROCHELLE MOORE Photo by SETH COMBS See MULTISPORTS COMPLEX, Page 39 A place to play, run and jump

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