Trading ice for indoor turf, the city of Carencro is about open its new sports complex.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department was put to the task of converting the former Louisiana Ice Arena into a major sports complex large enough accommodate indoor soccer, football, lacrosse and many other options for leagues and private parties.
The $3.75 million project began in December 2014, after the city purchased the 32,000-square-foot facility.
The 17,000-square-foot-rink was removed with some of the equipment resold. Heavy insulation that maintained the ice rink was also removed, Jim Thibodeaux, director of operations for city-owned Pelican Park, said.
“We’ve replaced that with 60 tons of air-conditioning,” he said Friday. “The ideal situation is now you can schedule playing events and the weather doesn’t have any control over it. For soccer parents, you go sit out and it’s 100 degrees, there’s mosquitoes or lightning or rain. Now you are in a controlled environment.”
The new sports complex was spearheaded by Murray Conque, former chairman of the parks and recreation commission.
The facility will include bleacher seating, a concession stand, arcade and event room. In the future, the sports complex may also feature video golf and batting cages, Thibodeaux said.
As a safety precaution, the field turf includes three-quarter-inch concussion padding. A shock pad was also installed to minimize impact, Carencro Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Tom Meyers said.
Ideally, children as young a 3 or 4 may be permitted to play on the field, Thibodeaux said. Registration for flag football and soccer is already underway with the intent of putting the new complex to use within two months, pending final inspection mid-August.
The facility will be available for rent for private parties in two-hour blocks. Thibodeaux the department is looking into possibly allowing fun jumps to be installed on the field during special events.
He said the field will also facilitate a new sports fad — KnockerBall. Also known as “bubble soccer," the game requires players to wear oversized clear rubber plastic balls over their upper bodies.
“We’ve had a lot of people excited about that,” Thibodeaux said. “If there’s enough interest, we may even offer it as a league.”
Source : theadvertiser.com