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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

3 projects worth $49 million on the way

The next two years are scheduled to bring a phenomenal spurt of new sports facilities to the Metro area with massive projects planned at Coe College, Mount Mercy University and Prospect Meadows Ball Fields.

Coe has earmarked $20 million for its "Make Your Move" campaign to build a new performance arena on campus, along with a fitness center, new wrestling room and a bridge across College Drive to connect the new facilities to the Clark Racquet Center.

Mount Mercy plans to spend $15 million on its "Home Field Advantage" project to build a new stadium for soccer and track, a new baseball field and a new softball field on land next to campus.

Prospect Meadows has a price-tag of $14 million for a 17-field complex of eight regulation baseball fields, eight softball fields and one Miracle Field on land at the junction of Highway 13 and County Home Road just north of Marion.

All three projects are scheduled to break ground this year. Coe and Mount Mercy plan to get started this spring, while Prospect Meadows hopes to get started sometime in 2016 if the next phase of its fundraising falls into place.

Coe College plans to work fast and get its new arena and other facilities built by this August, after which Eby Fieldhouse will be remodeled for practices and recreational use.

Mount Mercy is aiming to finish the Robert W. Plaster Athletic Complex by August of 2017, while Prospect Meadows hopes to have at least half of its fields ready for 2017 and the rest of the project in place by 2018.

The combined price-tag of the three projects is $49 million and represents an unprecedented growth for sports facilities in our community. The projects at Coe and Mount Mercy are aimed primarily at their student-athletes, but they also will be available for the community to appreciate and enjoy.

Coe has already installed a new track and new bleachers at Clark Field as part of its project and Mount Mercy has reached out to youth organizations in the area to include deserving kids in future camps.

Prospect Meadows plans to host local, state, regional and perhaps national tournaments at its facility, in conjunction with Perfect Game USA and other baseball and softball organizations. The Miracle Field will give people of disabilities of all ages a chance to play ball on a state-of-the-art facility.

The projects at Coe and Mount Mercy are long overdue. Coe has squeezed every ounce of life out of Eby Fieldhouse since the facility was built in 1929, and Mount Mercy has been renting outdoor facilities all over town for its practices and games for years. Now the two neighbors in northeast Cedar Rapids will have shiny new homes that will usher in new eras at both colleges.

These are exciting times in the Metro area with all three projects scheduled to proceed simultaneously. It won't be long before we have some of the best collegiate and recreational facilities in the entire region and it will be happening before our own eyes.

All three projects are seeking additional funds to help reach their goals. If you'd like to help, you can contact the appropriate people at Coe, Mount Mercy and Prospect Meadows and lend a hand. The Metro Sports Report would be happy to steer you in the right direction if you're not sure who to contact.

Coe, Mount Mercy and Prospect Meadows have posted architectural drawings on their websites. Just google their names and you'll be just a few clicks away from seeing all these endeavors for yourself.

All three projects are very impressive and worthy of your support.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 December 2015 17:11 )  

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