Eudora, not soccer academy, to pay for design and installation of youth soccer fields

The Eudora City Commission is going forward with its original plan to pay for the design and installation of youth soccer fields on Eudora school district property after it had entertained a proposal from a private soccer youth organization to pay for and manage the new facility.

Eudora City Manager Barack Matite said the city was now having the design for the soccer fields prepared. The fields are to be installed on open ground between Eudora middle and high schools. The design will be for two full-sized irrigated grass fields that can be striped for other sports besides soccer, he said.

The city and the Eudora school district agreed to a memorandum of understanding in 2018 that the city would develop the soccer fields and had the $250,000 needed to do the work, Matite said.

The project took a detour earlier this year, however, when the city was approached by BVB International Academy-Great Plains about becoming involved in the project, perhaps to the extent of paying to install it and then managing the complex. BVB is a U.S. representative of an academy associated with the German Borussia Dortmund soccer club and offers soccer academies and training in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.

In February, the 2018 understanding was revised to allow the city and school district to start talks with BVB. But after discussion, it was agreed to go forward with the original plan of the city paying for the design and installation of the fields, Matite said.

The city is working with BVB to find an alternative site for its academy and activities, but it could use the new fields until a permanent home is developed, Matite said.

“BVB’s desire to have a presence in Eudora has not changed,” he said. “They will use the fields when they are completed for their academy and activities when the fields are available, just like everyone else.”

Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin said he hoped the fields would be completed in 2022, but he said the city needed to be cautious to not overextend city employees with the Nottingham redevelopment project also going forward. The Eudora City Commission is considering the second phase of infrastructure installation at Nottingham, which when completed will allow the site’s anchor developer, High 5, to start work on its family entertainment complex.

“I’m certainly hopeful we can get those fields designed and finished in the upcoming year,” he said. “Our recreation director, Sally Pennington, and Eudora Athletic Director Cara Kimberlin are working closely together to assure they fulfill both our needs. We want to make sure we get something that works for the future, so we don’t plow it up and start over.”


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