By Juanice Gray, Editor
Photos by Hannah Richardson, Lifestyle Editor
If you build it, they will come.
That famous line from the 1989 hit movie “Field of Dreams” has a whole new meaning in Natchitoches. Whether you were in favor of building the sports complex Parc Natchitoches or not no longer matters.
It’s about to open…and they are coming.
City Chief of Staff Edd Lee said the first tournament is booked for the end of February as is every weekend until mid-July. The City is also working with NSU and they will use it for some of their intramural activities.
In the movie, the baseball field stood in a cornfield in the middle of nowhere. Parc Natchitoches stands in hardwood timber just off the Interstate and is much more than just a ballfield. It is a state-of-the-art complex and while most think of baseball, softball and soccer, that is only the beginning. With the walking trails, future playgrounds, stocked fishing pond and open spaces it is a park for the entire community to use for exercise and recreation.
In addition, the City just proposed an ordinance to purchase a 27 acre tract that will connect the Parc with NSU’s golf complex. That purchase will allow for additional trails and more.
The baseball/softball fields are a players and spectators dream featuring covered bleachers for spectators, dugouts with water spouts, high netting around the batting area to protect spectators, foul poles with ball return tabs, warm up pens, deep dugouts so players can move about uncrowded.
Lee said public meetings were held to get input and the input received was taken into consideration when putting the final plans together. “We ended up with a very thoughtful and useful layout.”
There will be three game ready, regulation size and lighted, soccer fields and a fourth field that is not lighted for use as a warm up/practice area.
Lifestyle Editor Hannah Richardson and I visited the Parc to get a closer, ground level view of what it has to offer. Check out the photos below to get a better grasp of the scope and scale of the endeavor.
The architect and lead firm is WHLC of Baton Rouge. The engineer is Fenstermaker of Lafayette. Landscape architect is Land Architecture of Lafayette and Apex Architecture, Natchitoches, worked on behalf of City of Natchitoches as project expediter. Ratcliff Construction is the general contractor.