$26 million SportsPlex coming to Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

$26 million SportsPlex coming to Waterloo

by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- After a decade in the works, a sports complex is coming to Waterloo.

It's a $26 million multi-purpose facility that will be part of the River Renaissance Plan.

Mayor Buck Clark and former mayors Tim Hurley and John Rooff made the big announcement Wednesday morning.

The Cedar Valley SportsPlex will be built along Jefferson Street in Waterloo, between West Third Street and First Street.

"It's so hard to quantify today what this is gonna mean to the entire community, to the city of Waterloo, the Cedar Valley to maybe northeast Iowa with the amenities this facility is going to provide to folks," said Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark.

The facility will include swimming pools, a track, field house, gymnasium and a childcare center.

"Every community I guess that's in the snowbelt to compete with employees and people coming here, we've got to have a facility here and we've got to have a first rate one, and we think this'll do it," said Rick Young.

The complex will provide year round recreation, which those involved say is huge for quality of life.

"You want to be able to attract on a world-wide scale, you want to be able to keep them and then you want to engage them in the community and this facility does all those. It isn't the only thing, but it's part of an overall package and it makes Waterloo and the Cedar Valley more attractive," said former mayor Tim Hurley.

Research conducted by Ballard King and Associates, a national consulting firm, estimates at least 300,000 annual visitors.

"This kind of facility, there is none in northeast Iowa that will do in the area of indoor soccer, basketball, batting, golf driving range, those kinds of facilities you can do in the dead of winter in Waterloo," said Clark.

Several admission and membership programs will be available, including a reduced rate for low income families.

A ground breaking is tentatively set for summer 2011 with a fall 2012 opening.

The Waterloo Development Corporation will own the facility initially, but it will be operated by the Waterloo Leisure Services Department. Down the road, the SportsPlex will be owned and operated by the city.

Of the $26 million needed, $17 million is already pledged.

The contributions are from Carlton & Thelma Winters - $2 million; Young Family Foundation - $2 million; McElroy Trust - $4 million; John Deere Foundation - $3 million; Max & Helen Guernsey Foundation - $550,000; Anonymous Donor - $500,000; Waterloo Development Corporation - $5 million; Leighty Family Foundation - $100,000.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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