City OKs contract for athletic complex master plan

Mayor Lynn Spruill discusses the contract with Dalhoff Thomas design studio for an athletic complex master plan at Cornerstone Park during their meeting Tuesday night. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
Staff Writer

The Starkville Board of Aldermen approved a contract with Dalhoff Thomas design studio for an athletic complex master plan at Cornerstone Park during its meeting Tuesday night.

The contract was approved with a 5-2 vote, with Vice Mayor and Ward 6 Alderman Roy A'. Perkins and Ward 7 Alderman voting against.

Dalhoff Thomas design studio has already worked with the city to design its parks master plan, which provides preliminary plans of relocating active sports from different parks to the Sportsplex.

The parks master plan also provides different recommendations on how to revitalize the parks by relocating resources and adding amenities like a small pond in McKee Park or a skate park.

Mayor Lynn Spruill said the contract for an athletic complex master plan at Cornerstone Park will allow both Dalhoff Thomas design studio and the city to devise a more thorough conceptual plan.

"This is a whole new facility, so they haven't looked at this before," Spruill said. "We now have an actual location for them to be looking at."

Spruill said Dalhoff Thomas will be looking at the program elements they could be putting in the location such as support facilities, ease of access for both pedestrians and other elements.

Other elements Spruill said the city would want to potentially include in the Cornerstone Park are a jogging track, RV park, or a splash pad.

"Part of what we want to do is, we want to have it more than just a sports tournament facility," Spruill said. "Things that make it more of a well-rounded experience."

Spruill said a new facility like the one that could potentially go in Cornerstone Park is absolutely an "economic driver" for Starkville.

She said with Starkville being in a college town, it's important to use that as a selling point for both the city and for the university.

"It will enhance the ability to sell the university," Spruill said. "We have a university that thrives on athletics, and we want to be able to help feed them with those future Bulldogs."

As for the next steps, Spruill said OCEDA is currently doing a wetland study on the area, which will allow Dalhoff Thomas to form a more concrete design for what can go into the usable space.

"(The wetland study is) a critical piece of that because whatever we can use, then Dalhoff Thomas will be looking at where those placements would be to get an actual plan in place that we can then execute," Spruill said.