EL PASO — Families will soon have a new and improved sportspark on Zaragoza near Saul Kleinfeld Drive. On Wednesday, El Paso County Commissioners and community members broke ground on construction.
Families are thrilled construction is underway because the new sportspark almost didn't happen at all.
"This is just great really... we've been waiting and waiting and going to other cities and seeing what other cities have to offer for the kids. This is going to be awesome for them."
The sportspark was originally built in 1986. The county bought the park in 2002. Four years later, commissioners signed a contract with Big League Dreams to renovate for $9.5 million in certificates of obligation. But in 2009, the contract was terminated because of increased estimates of construction costs.
Commissioner Ana Perez took office in 2009 and stepped up to the plate.
"I made it a commitment to that before the end of my term I would complete this project. It will be done and so I'm handing over to the new commissioner a completed project. Something that the community will be proud of," said Perez.
Perez worked to gather community input and find an architect for the renovation. The new price tag for the renovation is $7 million.
"We're gonna turn over the rest of the money that's part of that certificates of obligation to improve rural parks, parks outside of the city limits to give quality of life to the constituents outside of the city limits," said Perez.
Crews will build an administrative and ticket booth building, a space for concessions and a new clubhouse. They will also upgrade the park's infrastructure and existing fields. The sportpark will have 10 baseball diamonds.
Arturo Enriquez, a father and baseball coach at has been working with Perez to make this a reality.
"It's still going to be a while before we actually step on the field but this is the baby steps, that we all have to go through, they're growing pains but I'm glad to see all of this happening," said Enriquez.
Judge Veronica Escobar said the sportspark will boost the local economy since the park will be able to host baseball tournaments in the future.
The renovation is expected to be complete in 2014.