Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Work continues at Ellis-Methvin soccer field

Work is set to resume on six soccer fields at Ellis-Methvin Park after a master drain was added in January to correct problems. 

RICH SHOPES | Times

Work is set to resume on six soccer fields at Ellis-Methvin Park after a master drain was added in January to correct problems. 

PLANT CITY — The city is halfway to completing six new soccer fields at Ellis-Methvin Park now that drainage work is almost finished.

The project was begun last year after Hillsborough Community College said it wanted to add classrooms and a parking lot to its Plant City campus on land the city now uses for youth soccer. At first, officials were eager to get started. Now, it seems they can take as long as necessary.

HCC spokeswoman Ashley Carl said the school's expansion has been pushed back to 2020 as a result of the weak economy.

Diminished tax revenue from utilities the past few years has left the state's school construction fund, known as PECO, less flush than usual. Also, a dozen other HCC projects now take priority over the Plant City work, she said.

Initially, officials thought they had a five- to seven-year window when HCC unveiled its expansion proposal to them in 2008.

Regardless of the school's changing timetable, City Manager Greg Horwedel said the city is pushing forward with the new fields.

"Technically the land is owned by HCC and when they informed us they would have a future expansion we needed to look ahead," he said. "Now seemed like a good time."

Work was begun last fall when the city used a $600,000 county grant to tackle the site's drainage after years as a citrus grove under the Ellis family. After analyzing the soil's composition, engineers opted to build a storm-water system with 12 inlets. That work ended in March.

The next phase, set to start this summer, will involve a lattice of underground pipes to tie into the drainage system. Then workers will add irrigation, 6 inches of top soil and sod.

Officials bid out the irrigation, top soil and sod work last week. City workers will install the underground pipes themselves.

Officials hope to have the fields ready for tournament play by December. The season runs from late March through early June; practices start in mid March.

Youth soccer is second only to Little League baseball in popularity. About 1,200 youths are involved in the city's soccer program, compared to 1,700 in Little League, according to recreation director Jack Holland.

"Soccer's been growing in popularity since the 1970s," he said.

While officials expect the fields to be ready in time for practice, it could be years before work at Ellis-Methvin is finished.

In addition to the six regulation-size fields planned there, officials expect to add stadium lighting, an expanded parking area, restrooms, equipment storage and a concession stand sometime in the future. Aluminum bleachers and fencing would come later. Two junior fields, or practice fields, are already in place.

"The parking is designed for about 450 additional spaces," city engineer Brett Gocka said. "The parking would run along Cherry Street and south along the west side of the property and along the property's south side, so essentially the six soccer fields will have parking along three sides."

A sidewalk surrounding the fields is planned as well.

Officials said the extent and timing of the improvements could depend on whether the city wins county grants. The lighting alone is estimated at $1 million, though officials are studying ways to trim that cost and say it could be a year or longer before they tackle the work.

Until then, recreation officials might turn to the fields at HCC, called the Otis M. Andrews Sports Complex, for at least some games. Unlike at Ellis-Methvin, the fields there are lighted.

Rich Shopes can be reached at rshopes@tampabay.com or (813) 661-2454.

Work continues at Ellis-Methvin soccer field 06/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 4:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) takes the field to start the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest

    Health

    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]
  3. Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering the president's private discussions about firing his FBI director and his response to news that the then-national security adviser was under …

    In a photograph provided by the Russian foreign ministry, President Donald Trump meets with Sergei Lavrov, left, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, May 10, 2017. Special counsel Robert Mueller is interested in this meeting, where Trump said dismissing FBI Director James Comey had relieved "great pressure" on him, the New York Times reported on Sept. 20. [Russian Foreign Ministry via  New York Times]
  4. 'We will find our island destroyed': Hurricane Maria demolishes Puerto Rico

    News

    SAN JUAN — Sleepless Puerto Ricans awoke Wednesday knowing to expect a thrashing from the most ferocious storm to strike the island in at least 85 years. They met nightfall confronting the ruin Hurricane Maria left behind: engorged rivers, blown-out windows, sheared roofs, toppled trees and an obliterated electric …

    Rescue vehicles from the Emergency Management Agency stand trapped under an awning during the impact of Hurricane Maria, after the storm  hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Maria has lost its major hurricane status, after raking Puerto Rico. But forecasters say some strengthening is in the forecast and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday. [Carlos Giusti | Associated Press]
  5. Obamacare repeal bill offers flexibility and uncertainty

    Politics

    The latest Republican proposal to undo the Affordable Care Act would grant states much greater flexibility and all but guarantee much greater uncertainty for tens of millions of people.