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Some teams are  practicing on the fields at the Sportsplex. The park should be open for public use in spring.   Eric Abernathy/Randolph Hub

City plans Oct 19 grand opening for Sportsplex

ASHEBORO — As soccer and football teams worked out, the Asheboro City Council received an update and tour of the Zoo City Sportsplex being completed at the corner of Zoo Parkway and Old Cox Road. A grand opening for the facility is planned for Oct. 19.


Meeting under a sportsplex shelter, the council met in special session on Aug. 29. Jonathan Sermon, director of the Cultural and Recreation Services, said some of the fields are being used now. He said the biggest issue has been parking since the large lots have yet to be painted with stripes. That should be completed in September.


City engineer Michael Leonard said six-foot signs are going up to direct visitors to the proper fields. Mayor David Smith asked if it would be possible to add sponsors to the signs for advertising revenues. Leonard said that would be possible and that the street and sign departments could make that happen.


Mayor Pro Tem Walker Moffitt suggested that the sign might need to be larger than six feet so that they could be easily seen. City Manager John Ogburn said, “That’s why we’re out here,” so that wrinkles can be ironed out. “This gives us the fall and winter to get the bugs out before spring.”

Ogburn pointed out areas that the city has taken possession from the contractor, which includes four of the eight playing fields, some concession stands, bathrooms, an equipment building, another building for the police and fire departments, a children's playground and a storage building for Asheboro City Schools sports equipment. Having extra equipment such as football gear, he said, allows children whose families have income issues to be able to play sports.


Moffitt asked if there will be regular hours for the public to use the park. Ogburn said there will be next spring. “In the daytime, it’s a park, seven days a week,” he said.


During the tour, it was pointed out that the sportsplex had four full-size adult soccer fields and eight youth fields, with the youth fields divided into two playing surfaces.


Ogburn said the Randolph-Asheboro YMCA, which will manage its own sports leagues at the sportsplex, will run a concession stand primarily for youth sports. The YMCA will keep the proceeds to help run their programs.


After the tour, the council met again in session and approved a change order with Field Turf USA for additional removal of soil. The change order was for $11,449.30. Also, the council voted to allocate $32,500 to install fitness equipment that was provided to the city.