$4.2 Million Athletic Park Will Be Largest Lake Shore Facility Awaits County Funding Neighbors/pasadena

October 19, 1990|By Robert Lee | Robert Lee,Staff writer

The county has unveiled its plan to build Anne Arundel's largest athletic complex at the intersection of Mountain Road and Route 100.

The $4.2 million, 132-acre Lake Shore Athletic Complex would include 10 ball fields -- four with lighting -- two basketball courts, restroom facilities, a playground and parking for 430 cars -- provided funding from the county works out.

"It'll be a showpiece when it's done, it's going to be a really beautiful park," said Rick Hare, president of the Lake Shore Recreational Council.

Hare, Herb Jenkins, Terry Colebrook, George "Skip" Kornmeyer, Ken Wilde and Ronald Nelson, all members of Lake Shore youth sports community, got the county moving on the project -- albeit ever so slowly -- six years ago when they presented Recreation and Parks Director Joseph McCann and County Executive O. James Lighthizer with a petition for new sports facilities in their area.

"It's really badly needed out here. We've had so many homes built up in the last 10 years with new families moving in, and their children are just getting to the age where they need fields to play sports," Hare said.

The number of youth baseball teams in Lake Shore for children 6-14 years old grew 15 percent this summer alone. Looper's and Bodkin fields have reached their capacity, and the county is in some danger of losing the right to use Looper's, Hare said.

The earliest the athletic complex could be ready for sports would be fall 1992, but that will require the newly elected County Council and county executive to approve $2.3 million for it next May when they adopt a 1992-1993 county budget.

About two-thirds of the money for the project is slated to come from state Program Open Space -- money taken out of real estate closing costs that can only be used to buy and develop parks.

At present, $691,000 is available to clear and rough out the park. But the grasses, lights, fences and buildings will have to wait until at least next fall.

Recreation and Parks Capital Projects Director Jack Keene said the department may try to spread the project out over a number of years if the budget looks tight next year.

Keene said the $4.2 million price tag will make it the fourth most expensive park project in county history behind Quiet Waters, the B & A Trail and Downs Park.

The County Council originally approved the concept of what was then a $2.6-million complex called the Mountain Road Corridor Park in 1987. The county purchased 132-acres of the "Big Valley" farm from a developer for $1.4 million in 1989.

The developer, the Federated Associated Limited Partnership, was forced to abandon plans to build town houses on the property after it couldn't get county approval to widen Woods Road.

The master plan for a $4.2 million complex unveiled by an engineering consultant Tuesday called for restrooms, a storage building, a playground and:

* Two outdoor basketball courts

* One lighted, adult softball diamond

* Three multipurpose fields (two with lights)

* Six small baseball diamonds (one with lights)

The complex will have room to expand in the event the county loses the rights to Looper's fields, Keene said.

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