Big changes in youth sports on the way in Wetumpka

Big changes in youth sports on the way in Wetumpka
Plans are in motion to build a new football field for Wetumpka High School and convert the current stadium into a soccer complex. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA) - Wetumpka city leaders have opened the gates to something new, something big, and something that’s never been done before; two massive projects going on at the same time.

“We’ve been talking about it for a few years,” said Mayor Jerry Willis.

We begin with the sports complex on Highway 14. A new Wetumpka High School football stadium is on the way, a new stadium complete with a competition track and much more.

“The only track in the region other than Selma. This gives the opportunity to host regional and sectional track meets which makes it a economic project," said Willis.

The reason behind it all?

“It’s time to do it. What gave us the ability to do this is the bond market. The cost of money is lower now than it’s been since the 1950s," said Willis.

Not far away next door to the Elmore County Technical Center will be phase two.

“That area becomes a Miracle Field, a splash pad, dog park and a sand volleyball court,” Willis said.

Mayor Willis added the area near the technical center includes a proposed fire station as well.

The mayor says he’s more than comfortable with the debt load the city will carry to make all of this work. City leaders refinanced the city’s current debt and saved more than $300,000 in the process.

“So, we paid it again the six million debt and used the projects to wrap around the existing the debt which puts it closer to the 11 to 12 million range," he said.

They’re no longer talking about it. It’s about to become a reality. Construction begins in a few months with the overall goal of having the new stadium built before the first Wetumpka High School football game in the fall of 2020.

Mayor Willis says the new stadium will seat 5,000 and that’s based on Wetumpka’s school size, which is 6A.

As for the old stadium near the school board office, Elmore County Public Schools Superintendent Richard Dennis says there are tentative plans to convert the stadium into a soccer complex.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.