Sioux Falls, SD
Earl McCart Fields is the place you usually see several softball games, but right now you can spot a different kind of dug out; an uprooted tree. It is the early signs of construction you will see for the next few months.
"The site will be stripped, the top soil will be removed, the concrete and underground structures will go in," Public Works Director Mark Cotter said.
The $700,000 parking lot will replace Field 9, located on the Southeast side and will connect to the existed 65-space parking lot.
"We've had a variety of safety concerns from people parking on both sides of the street to access this complex," Parks and Recreation Director Don Kearney said.
The goal is to have this parking lot done by October. It will be ready for some big upcoming events this fall and play a big part in a much-talked-about construction project.
"Ultimately, (this) cannot only service the needs of this park, but on those very large event days, it can also be overflow parking for the events center complex," Cotter said.
Cotter hopes this might be a piece of mind for some people who have voiced concerns about the extra traffic the events center will bring when it opens in a few years. The big fear has been there will not be enough parking and overflow would hit the streets and congest neighborhoods.
Eventually, work will be done on the north side of Howard Wood Field and near the Sioux Falls School District's Operational Services Building. City leaders said this will leave us with more parking in the area than we had before, even when the events center brings a whole lot more cars.
"Obviously, we have signal lights at the intersection, pedestrian access to get across those streets. We don't expect it to cause any issues in terms of the residential areas as well," Director of Planning and Building Services Mike Cooper said.
The other fields will be left in tact, and Kearney said this will affect the number of sports programs held at the park. Cotter added they have been working with the McCart family to maintain the integrity of Earl McCart's namesake park.