Field Close To Being Completed

WHEELING – The vision of what the East Wheeling sports field will look like at completion is now clear, as the artificial turf surface at the facility is in place.

Original plans called for the park to be open by Memorial Day. However, wet weather slowed construction, causing a new, mid-June completion date.

In addition to the field itself, crews have been putting the finishing touches on the facility’s lighting and drainage system, as well as the playground equipment.

The field will be the only artificial turf field in the area open for use by the general public and will be suitable for football, soccer, softball and lacrosse. The $3.3 million park also will feature restroom facilities, lighted basketball courts and a variety of playground equipment appropriate for children of all ages.

Construction alone cost about $2.1 million, while the total price tag for the project is roughly $3.3 million, taking into account the $1.2 million spent on design, property acquisition and demolition of the houses on the block bound by 15th, 16th, Wood and McColloch streets.

Known funding sources for the project include $1.25 million in publicly announced private sector donations; $1.2 million from city taxpayers; and $600,000 in state and federal grants, most of it Community Development Block Grant funding.

According to city officials, a little more than $200,000 still needs to be raised to cover the cost of construction. Additional money will be needed for equipment and maintenance, with further fundraising being conducted to cover those expenses.