Special event showcases the new Pratt Track and Soccer Field Complex.
A transformation that changed rolling hills, trees and grass into a state of the art track and soccer complex is complete.
A ribbon cutting on Oct. 22 at the Pratt Community College facility, located at Sixth and Fincham streets in Pratt, marked the official dedication of the site that just seven months ago was open prairie. Official groundbreaking was April 4, 2019.
The new facility features a combination soccer and football field with goal posts for both and standard football field markings so the facility could be used for both sports.
A state of the art track surrounds the field with areas for high jump and steeple chase. Four light towers hold energy efficient light banks that can be set in motion with a pre-programmed light show for scores or for other events.
Immediately to west of the track are the long jump, triple jump and pole vault area next to the parking lot. The shot put, javelin, discus and hammer areas, including a tall safety net, are just to the southwest of track.
A bleacher section includes a press box with room on the top for video production. There is a combination concessions stand and restroom facility plus an on-site storage building.
The facility was designed and built to meet NCAA regulations for official records.
While the facility was completed too late for PCC soccer teams to use the facility this year, the Pratt Recreation Department is already making good use of the facility. Before and after the dedication ceremony, a pair of Rec flag football games and a soccer game were going on simultaneously on the field. The Rec department will continue to use the facility as it is available for their activities.
Greg Lesh, PCC Foundation President, said Pratt could now host sporting events like football playoffs and other sports activities that would enrich Pratt's economy.
Acting City Manager Bruce Pinkall said the track and soccer facility was actually a realization of Phase Five of the Green Sports complex that sits next door. It took the combined efforts of PCC, the City of Pratt and its citizens to make the complex a reality, Pinkall said.
At first, people wondered if it was even possible to make the facility a reality. Finances and a location site were a big issue. Then finances began to fall in place and the City of Pratt agreed to get involved with issuing industrial revenue bonds, some grants fell into place and the dream became a reality.
"This happened because organizations collaborated for the good of the community," said PCC President Michael Calvert.
This facility will help increase health and well being in the community as well as provide economic opportunities.
While the facility is complete, fundraising efforts are on going for the $3.5 million complex with another $1 million to raise to pay off the industrial revenue bonds that come due in five years, Calvert said.
Fund raising efforts have been very successful with 40 percent of the dollars raised coming from outside the Pratt area.
Present at the dedication were the PCC Board of Trustees, PCC Foundation representatives, the City and County Commissioners, Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Officer Kim DeClue, Pinkall, Lesh, Calvert, The Law Firm in charge of construction, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Parks Director Linda Lantermen, USD 382 representative and others vital to the success of the completion of the project including local businesses EBH Engineering, Smiley Concrete, Adams Electric, Integreen and Younie Landscaping.
Swanson House, fundraising consultants, were a key part of the ongoing fund raising efforts.
Members of the various PCC sports teams, including both soccer teams, were present for the ceremonies.