- Associated Press - Saturday, August 2, 2014

HOUMA, La. (AP) - Work on a long-discussed park and sports complex will begin in September and the first fields should be ready for play in 2015, Terrebonne Parish officials said.

The Courier reported (http://bit.ly/1AtTTpM) the 100-acre Bayou Country Sports Park, known locally as the Field of Dreams, will include softball, baseball and soccer fields, sand volleyball and tennis courts, a dog park and a walking/biking trail. It will be built at a site along Louisiana Highway 311.

Senior parish planner Chris Pulaski said the entire project will cost about $23 million. The first phase includes soccer and softball fields.

Money to start the project came from a 1 percent hotel tax approved by voters in 2013. Parish manager Al Levron said the tax has generated $2.8 million so far.

The project is also in line for $1.3 million in state money.

Design work has been completed and construction bids are being accepted. Initial construction will focus on roads, water lines and drainage.

“With a raw piece of ground like this, there’s really nothing out there in terms of infrastructure,” Pulaski said.

Later, sod will be laid for the softball and soccer fields. The softball fields will be ready for play in the spring. The soccer fields will be ready in the fall of 2015, Pulaski said.

Construction will be spread over five to eight years. The tax will provide a consistent revenue stream.

Parish President Michel Claudet said the goal is to draw tourists, boost the economy and serve as a source of local pride.

“What I hope to see is that it becomes a focal point for sports activities in Terrebonne Parish,” Claudet said.

The park’s planned attractions are largely based on public input during a 2012 workshop held by the Baton Rouge firm hired to design the complex.

The Bayou Country Sports Park is one of two parks about to start construction in Terrebonne. Work on the Fireman’s Skate and Bike Park is expected to begin within weeks.

The skate park is expected to be ready for use by spring 2015.

The skate park got its start with the late longtime Bayou Cane Fire Chief Jerry Gautreaux, who left Terrebonne $10,000 in his will to build it. He asked that it not be named after him.

Grants and state money will also be used to build the $1 million park at a site on Louisiana Highway 311 next to the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center.

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Information from: The Courier, http://www.houmatoday.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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