Phase 2 of Summit County Fairgrounds project approved
Improvements include moving sports fields nearby on Beacon Hill and creating pickleball, tennis courts
Phase two of a project to improve community amenities in Coalville will soon be underway after the Summit County Council gave it the go-ahead this week, more than a half decade since the idea was first introduced.
The County Council in 2017 approved the fairgrounds master plan, which is a multi-year project with the first construction phase creating the Ledges Event Center and livestock barns.
The second phase would demolish the existing basketball and tennis courts and replace them with a multipurpose field, as well as create a new outdoor sports complex nearby on Beacon Hill that would be equipped with softball and soccer fields, an outdoor basketball court and at least one outdoor pickleball court.
Ron Boyer, the county’s information technology director who is also heavily involved in the fairgrounds master plan, was seeking county approval on the construction contract alongside Charity Richins, the vice chair of the North Summit Recreation Special Service District, and Tyler Orgill, the county’s events manager.
The East Side’s recreation district has been partnering with the county to help leverage limited property options in Coalville and bolster limited budgets.
The fairgrounds project would construct a multipurpose field on roughly 4 acres by replacing the current courts with either a natural or artificial turf field as well as improve the existing irrigation system and parking areas, update the landscaping to accommodate the annual fair, create a paved walkway and install field lighting to accommodate other community events. It’s estimated to cost around $1.14 million.
Boyer said during the County Council meeting on Wednesday it is no longer practical to have tennis and basketball courts nor a softball field on the fairgrounds. Moving the amenities to the North Summit Recreation Special Service District property on Beacon Hill provides a centralized location for similar facilities, leading the entities to partner on the project.
They propose building a multi-use facility on roughly 10.5 acres at Beacon Hill Park that would include two softball fields and a multipurpose field with artificial turf, other outdoor sports courts – with the possibility of up to four pickleball courts – scoreboards and fencing, bleachers and a concession area, field lighting improvements and equipment storage.
The Beacon Hill Park project raises the total cost to just under $3 million.
Boyer indicated they plan to use $1.1 million in Recreation, Arts and Parks money the entities received during the 2021 grant cycle to help fund the work. The county will contribute around $2 million, which has already been budgeted through the fairgrounds master plan.
The third and fourth phases of the project include moving the rodeo area to the east side of Chalk Creek and developing an overflow parking area.
County Councilor Tonja Hanson, the only East Side resident on the panel, said she was excited to see the inclusion of pickleball courts. Richins indicated they were a late addition, but one that appeared to be needed. The current plan includes one pickleball court, and one tennis court, with the potential for more to be constructed. The North Summit Recreation Special Service District is seeking other funding mechanisms, too.
“Let’s make it sustainable tourism. Let’s bring some activities into this part of the community, for development. Park City has more than enough,” Richins said.
Deputy County Manager Janna Young added the project has additional benefits because of the collaboration between the recreation district and the county. The multipurpose fields add more space in North Summit, but can also act as an alternative events venue or overflow for Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District activities.
Boyer anticipates work will begin on the county fairgrounds after this year’s fair; likely in August. The Beacon Hill Park project is slated to start around the same time. Construction is expected to last several months. If things aren’t wrapped up before the ground freezes, some work may be pushed into next spring.
Park City Council contest draws nine, some with established names and others with political newcomer status
The period when candidates needed to file campaign paperwork closed on Wednesday. There was not a rush of interest in the final hours, but the field is an intriguing one nonetheless.
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