Plummer Family Sports Park

Firm:Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc.

Other Consultants: PROS Consulting, J&D Turf, Context Design, LLC, David Mason & Associates, SCI Engineering

Owner:City of Edwardsville

Description:Edwardsville is a growing community of just over 25,000. Enhancing quality of life is important to the city’s leaders and in 2015 they kicked off their Better Place to Play campaign. Their mission: strengthen the community and make it more attractive to new residents and businesses, the city sought to create more opportunities for improving health, building stronger family and community bonds, and improve quality of life for individuals regardless of their age, race or socioeconomic background.

The Better Place to Play campaign has enjoyed overwhelming support over the years, and the crown jewel among its achievements is Plummer Family Sports Park. The park’s story - from dream, to conception, to reality - provides a case study in how the engineering profession goes beyond just designing and building necessary infrastructure. Engineers play an active and essential role in improving the quality of life in America’s cities and towns. By engaging with leaders and residents, they are in a unique position to discover what amenities and improvements are most desired and will integrate best into the fabric of everyday life.

On the Plummer Family Sports Park project, this effort required extensive public involvement efforts. The public had indicated a desire for an athletic facility for youth sports that accommodate the city’s many leagues, clubs and teams. The challenge for the project team was deter-mining the level of demand for the different sports so that the available land and budget could be optimized to serve the most people. It was also important to address the recreational desires of the community so that as many residents as possible will benefit from the city’s investment.

Extensive outreach efforts, studies and analysis resulted in a 83-acre, $12.8 million facility that currently includes four baseball/softball diamonds, six multi-purpose fields, 12 pickle-ball courts, concession stands, restrooms, a shared-use path and parking for 821 vehicles, including 22 ADA-compliant spaces. Additional ball diamonds, a community park space and additional parking are planned for a future phase.

The project team began providing planning services for the new sports park back in 2016, then followed-up with engineering and architectural design services for project beginning in 2018. Included in the efforts was a community survey, focus group interviews, a review of existing facilities, determination of a level of service and quantitative needs for each field type, a detailed operation and business plan to support the park, public presentations, and a Master Plan and project budget for a phased approach to construction. A detailed traffic analysis for the sports park and an adjacent commercial development was also provided, along with construction phase services.

As a premiere youth sport facility, the park will be a destination for athletes and their families in the region who come to Edwardsville to compete in tournaments. Through tournament and league fees, facility rentals and concession operations, the park is projected to bring in over $2 million each year. Local restaurants, hotels and retail establishments also stand to benefit from the influx of weekend visitors during the spring, summer and fall months.

In its short time in operation, and despite COVID-19 restrictions, Plummer Family Sports Park has become a point of pride and a popular amenity for the residents of Edwardsville. CMT and its partners are proud to have played a part in its creation.

City of Edwardsville

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