LEETOWN – When it’s finished James Hite Park will host soccer fields, baseball diamonds and football fields for the county’s youth and will be the largest construction project that Parks and Recreation has undertaken.
[cleeng_content id="715482809" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]On Aug. 7, a bevy of area officials joined Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to break ground on the new facility. Tomblin secured about $250,000 to pave a section of road near the entrance to the park.
“The reason projects like this are so important is because we know we are not the healthiest state in the union,” Tomblin said. “We’ve got to do everything we can … to make sure that they are healthier that we are today. We’ve got to be more active and get outside.”
Tomblin was joined by Commissioner Dale Manuel, state Sen. John Unger and Parks Commission President Paul Marshall, who first approached Tomblin for funding about three years ago.
“Because of the Governor’s commitment to spend money on this, now we can spend our money on the infrastructure inside the park – the water, the sewer, the roads and the parking lot that we need inside,” Manuel said. “They are going to pave [Hite] Road from where it begins at Jefferson Orchard Road to where it ends at the edge of the property.
Manuel also emphasized the importance of $100,000 contributed by the Jefferson County Youth Soccer League, which will be doubled with a matching grant.
“This would be too big a project for us to complete without community input,” he said.
Marshall called the day’s effort one small part of a project that began when the Jefferson County Commission set aside $1 million to buy and develop the site.
Roger Snook, regional director of the JCYSL, said his organization is in desperate need of the 11 new soccer fields that will be installed in the first phase of construction.
“We have about 1,000 kids, and their families, that play every Saturday either in Morgan’s Grove or in downtown Charles Town,” he said. “We are running out of space.”[/cleeng_content]