Six multipurpose fields, eight tennis courts, a 100-by-240-foot pavilion, and a 10,000-square-foot splash pad are among the first facilities recommended by a pair of advisory committees working on the proposed Lamar County Sportsplex.
Doug Wimberly of engineering firm Neel-Schaffer presented the facility’s master plan at the Lamar County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday, June 3, at the William J. “Pete” Gamble III chancery Courthouse. Neel-Schaffer was hired to develop the sportsplex master plan.
“I think this sportsplex could be an earmark for the state, something everyone in the state will be looking at,” he said, adding that an advisory board and a junior ambassador board had been developing priorities for each sportsplex phase.
“We have taken (the priorities) and kind of boiled them down, along with the county demographics. With that, we developed a preliminary facility list.”
Lamar County Administrator Joseph “Jody” Waits said the introduction of the master plan is extremely preliminary.
“This whole process is about getting the vision,” he said. “Once we have all the visions, we can begin to work on the concrete – what we can do, the funding of it, and the presentation. Then we get to work trying to get the funding, and the funding determines what actually goes in the ground. It’s a long-range project.”
Also included in Phase I of the master plan are two sand volleyball courts, a low ropes course, a dog park, a disc golf course, a walking, jogging and cycling path, and a maintenance and storage area. Phase 2 focuses on improving existing facilities in Purvis, Lumberton, Baxterville, Sumrall and Oak Grove; a softball fourplex, a baseball fourplex, two multipurpose fields, and a high ropes course.
The third phase of the master plan adds an indoor recreation facility, an aquatics area expansion, multipurpose fields’ development, and expansion of the baseball and softball fields.
Wimberly also outlined the proposed scope of work in the master plan. Specific actions included in the master plan are:
- Identify and inform stakeholders and foster Sports Advisory and Junior Ambassador Sports Committees.
- Compile and phase preliminary list of desired facilities from committee meetings with the number of fields/sizes/acreages, etc.
- Research and visit relevant sports complexes (Gulfport, Hammond, Vicksburg) with the above committees
- Inventory existing and planned recreational facilities in the county
- Identify and analyze several sportsplex locations and community parks within the county with a final ranking of the same
- Complete preliminary layouts for priority locations and estimate total project cost for each
- Develop funding strategies for construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed facilities
- Generate attractive, quality promotional materials for use in communication and momentum building within the community for the proposed sportsplex
- Propose board structure and function for community, county and region recreation boards