Rendering Interior 02GREENVILLE, Ky. (1/29/19) — The Greater Muhlenberg Parks & Recreations System has announced plans for Phase 2 of Muhlenberg County Park to include a 43,500-square-foot, indoor recreation facility that will house year-round events.

The fundraising campaign for the new facility was kicked off with a pledge of $3 million from the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation, which challenged the park system to raise the additional funding needed to construct the facility.

Local donors including Sue and Brown Badgett, Owensboro Health, Hilliard Lyons, Clinic Pharmacy, Old National Bank, First Southern National Bank, Peggy Williams, Gary Carver and Greenville, Central City and Muhlenberg County tourism commissions have already pledged more than $450,000 toward the project. GMPRS is seeking additional contributions of approximately $300,000 to complete it.

The new recreation center, which was recommended as part of the Muhlenberg County Parks master plan in 2011, will serve as a full community center hosting not only athletic events and tournaments but also providing a place for students to congregate and for community activities and large scale tourism events. Plans for the new state-of-the-art facility include four courts for basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer as well as areas for archery, batting cages and an indoor walking track. The new recreation center will also house a concession stand and café area including a catering kitchen and two meeting rooms for public and student use.

The new facility will build on the success of the first phase of Muhlenberg County Park, Ray Jones Family Athletic Complex, which hosts up to 30 regional tournaments each summer and has provided a home for local Little League and intramural teams.

“Muhlenberg County Park has a proven track record for attracting regional baseball tournaments and plans are already underway to expand with regional youth basketball, volleyball and archery tournaments in the new facility allowing Muhlenberg County Park to be a destination for sports enthusiasts all year long,” said GMPRS Director Tommy Barton in a press release.

FEMJ Foundation President Alyssa Manning also voiced her strong support for the project.

“This facility will play a part in so many of the priorities that Muhlenberg County has identified,” said Manning in a press release. “Regional tournaments hosted there will bring in tourism dollars and promote economic development as well as providing part-time jobs in the county. The facility itself will allow the parks system to expand its youth services and provide a place for youth to simply hang out during after school hours, a key factor in promoting healthy lifestyles and positive choices for students. This is the kind of project that can make a lasting impact in the county both now and in the future.”

When completed, the new facility will also ease the burden on the Muhlenberg County School system when scheduling practices for athletic teams.

“Right now, high school athletic teams are often forced to practice into the evening hours due to the lack of space,” said Muhlenberg County Schools Assistant Superintendent and GMPRS board member Matt Perkins. “At the elementary and middle school level, it is difficult to find time for the almost 50 Jr. Pro basketball teams to practice prior to their games. The addition of a new facility will definitely increase opportunities for students to participate.”

Tracy Hope, who coordinates many of the county’s archery activities, said a large indoor space is required.

“County-wide archery programs have grown to over 840 students participating, and these programs do not have access to large indoor practice spaces,” said Hope.

Architectural plans for the proposed facility are being finalized and donors will have the opportunity to secure naming rights, memorial opportunities and sponsorships.

Any individual, business or organization, who would like to consider a financial contribution to the Greater Muhlenberg Parks & Recreation System, should contact GMPRS Board Chairman Steve Wells at (270) 338-1017 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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SurfKY News
Information/illustrations by Alyssa Manning

 

 

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