Construction on new South Walton sports complex will soon begin

SOUTH WALTON, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Construction on a new multi-million dollar sports complex in Walton County will soon be underway.

The plans for the new South Walton Sports complex have been drawn and a bid accepted.

"Well, the contract is for 360 days so we're looking at by this time next year to have the fields open and ready to go," said Walton County Administration Project and Programs Manager, Rick Wilson.

At Tuesday's county commission meeting, commissioners approved for Gulf Power to provide power service to the sports park.

"We're finalizing our plan of attack for how we will get into the site and meeting with the planning department to make sure our development order needs are met and followed," Wilson added.

The $6.2 million phase-one project will include three multi-use fields, as well as concessions, a press box, and all the infrastructure needed.

"All the underground, that's what a big chunk of this is, is just the underground," said Wilson. "We have to lift the site about three and a half foot. So 35 acres, lifting it three and a half feet is a lot of dirt and a lot of time. So it's all the underground utilities, all the infrastructure, all that stuff that goes into what you need to make the fields work and the games work."

Wilson said there is still an extra $3 million county commissioners can contemplate over the next couple budget cycles to decide what else they would like to add.

"If we stage it properly we may be able to do it a little bit quicker. Maybe do the baseball fields or football fields first, depending on what the schedule looks like so that we could have sports being played on those fields a little sooner than this time next year if everything goes as planned," Wilson said.

County officials said they hope to break ground on November 6th.

"We're always looking to provide our residents with the best possible services and we'll continue to do that as well," Wilson stated.