By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
The process of giving Summit Soccer Park a facelift is under way by Harker Heights Parks and Recreation.
"We are still in the hatching phase of the project," said Jerry Bark, Harker Heights Parks and Recreation director.
The soccer park, at 301 Amy Street in Harker Heights, has 11 fields spaced out over 33 acres of land. These fields are used by both the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation league and Tri-County Soccer League and see a large amount of play throughout the week, Bark said.
"We run two soccer seasons a year and you are a looking at a couple of hundred games a year," Bark said. "We also have some adults that are playing out there and some outside clubs playing on the same fields."
In addition, the fields also are used by several teams for practice, Bark said.
The amount of play on the fields tends to cause a lot of wear on the fields, especially in the middle and around the goals, Bark said.
"Soccer fields have a bad habit of getting worn in spots, so you need to have the ability to change the fields to give those spots time to recover," said Pat Christ, president of the Tri-County League and Harker Heights City Councilman.
It is Bark's goal to get more fields on the 33 acres of land by positioning the fields differently and allowing for the rotation of the fields by having portable goals, he said.
Other plans for the soccer fields are placing lights around the park so they can be used in the evening, Bark said.
"We need it very badly because there are a couple of times a year we really can't practice," Christ said, blaming daylight saving time for a loss of the practice time.
Bark also would like to have paved parking and updated concession and restroom facilities at the fields, he said.
"Right now we are parking on grass surface as well as the street," he said.
While these plans are still in the early phases, Park and Recreation has received some estimates about the cost of drainage changes for the fields that will allow for the desired updates, Bark said.
Any changes still have to be presented to the Harker Heights City Council and approved, Bark said.
The time of when the project starts to take physical shape is also a delicate one, Bark said.
"When we go in there and start tearing stuff up, we don't want to alter one of the seasons," Bark said.
The Harker Heights soccer leagues have more than 600 participants a season. Parks and Recreation runs leagues for 5- and 6-year-old children, 7- and 8-year-old children, 9- and 10-year-old children, and 11- through 14-year-old children.
"It is really needed, and it is not just for Harker Heights – it's for the entire soccer community," Christ said.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7554