RIVERBANK -- Athletes will square off for the first time at the city's new $2.5 million sports complex Sunday. The event marks the completion of the first of three construction phases.
Phase 1, 6 acres: A soccer field, shared football-soccer field, concession stand and fence
Phase 2, 5 acres: Another soccer field and a BMX bicycle park
Phase 3, 9 acres: Baseball fields.
It's not certain the last phase will happen. The city needs nine more acres to build the baseball fields and a neighboring land owner has been unwilling to sell.
"We may need to do it somewhere else. But we haven't forgotten about baseball," Recreation Director Sue Fitzpatrick said.
The grand opening will be Sunday at 1 p.m., said Recreation Supervisor Kerrie Webb.
- City Council members will have a soccer-kicking rather than ribbon-cutting.
"Riverbank could support a competitive team. There's a lot of talent here," she said.
While the original construction contract for the park was for $1.9 million, it has cost $2.5 million. The final price includes bleachers, restrooms and other amenities.
Grants, park development money and donations, including $400,000 from Stanislaus County Parks and Recreation, helped pay for the first phase.
People still can make donations toward the effort to finish the park.
"We do want to name the fields," Fitzpatrick said, hinting that the right donation by a person or company could help do that.
The park project has been under way for two years. Fitzpatrick doesn't know when the city will be able to start construction on phase 2. It will depend on financing, she said.
"When development slows down, our park development slows down. We are hoping to get grants," she added.
Bee staff writer Eve Hightower can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2382.