CORTLANDVILLE, N.Y. — A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning for the first phase of construction of a 100-acre sports complex in the town of Cortlandville.
The park will be located on a sizable plot of land on Route 13, near Byrne Hollow Road. Phase one involves the creation of two fully turfed baseball fields and a new walking trail connecting the park to Lime Hollow Nature Center.
"This is really a project that's going to be bigger than the town of Cortlandville," Town Supervisor Richard Tupper said. "It's beneficial to the county. We're hoping that as we progress, we'll fill every hotel room, every restaurant, people will be shopping in the stores. The ultimate goal is to generate millions of dollars worth of sales tax and additional revenue for everybody in the county. We're very optimistic."
The town received several state grants to help fund the project, which was in the works for several years before receiving the necessary approvals from the Cortlandville Town Board last year.
Crews hope to finish phase one by October, at which time a ribbon cutting would be held for the finished baseball fields. The fields will be all-turf and include necessary modifications to transform it into a little league field or an NCAA ball park. The turf material will make it easier for teams to play in April and May during late winter snowfalls.
Cortlandville town officials are hoping these amenities will attract sports teams from SUNY colleges and high schools from around the region, Tupper said. Subsequent phases include the construction of two more baseball fields and eight multipurpose playing surfaces for other outdoor sports.
"This is huge for the entire state and region, no question about it," New York State Sen. James Seward said at Tuesday's ceremony. "This is a prime example of the private and public sector coming together to make a project happen. This isn't only 100 acres. This is prime acreage."
Seward also commended Gutchess Lumber for being "a great corporate citizen" of the Cortland community.