Groundbreaking begins on LaPorte Sports Complex

As the cool autumn air bit at the crowd, their hopes for the ground they stood on burned enough to keep themselves warm, as their community continued to expand.

Groundbreaking for the LaPorte family started Thursday morning at 10 am, behind the Northeast Community Credit Union, where the old hospital used to stand. City Mayor Kurt Alexander joined him and the Elizabethton Soccer Association in celebrating the occasion.

Director of Schools Corey Gardenhour said this is the culmination of ten years worth of planning and organizing.

“We eventually purchased the lease for the property about a year and a half ago,” Gardenhour said. “That was when Sam LaPorte came in.”

The LaPorte family financially contributed to settling on erecting a sports complex on the lot, after city schools leased the lot last year.

Gardenhour said he hopes the complex will serve to better city schools and the children who attend them.

“I believe this will add to the quality of life for our schools,” he said. “When kids are in good health and wellbeing, it directly correlates with academic success.”

He said they plan to share the facility amongst three groups: youth soccer, the Boys and Girls Club and the school system.

Gardenhour said he hopes the location of the complex provides an added benefit to the school.

“It is important to have facilities close,” he said. “Kids need exercise, and this can be an extra practice area if they need it.”

Gardenhour also said reactions to the complex have been positive, and he hopes the facility will continue to improve the sports programs of the area, both in and out of the classroom.

“We also plan to have smaller kids’ soccer here as well as football,” he said.

Gardenhour thanks the LaPorte family and the school board for moving forward with the complex.

“Thank you for believing in our children,” he said.

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