City council members reviewed this conceptual drawing of a proposed sports complex for Byron at its May 27 meeting. Graphic Courtesy of WHKS/City of Byron.
By David Richards
With a different look, a proposed sports complex was back in front of the city council May 27.
Last fall, the Byron pool committee proposed a $7 million facility to include both an aquatic center and sports complex to be built on the city's land near Byron Towne Village, Highway 14 and County Road 3.
That option was tabled, however, following several open house meetings and to revisit the possibility of an indoor pool.
While the pool committee is expected to bring a new proposal in front of the council in the next few weeks, representatives from the Byron Youth Associations have come up with their own new concept.
"Byron is at a crossroads with its youth baseball program," said BYBA president Patrick Splinter at the meeting. "We don't have enough fields, plain and simple."
The concept, which was designed by WHKS, features softball/baseball fields, a basketball court, sand volleyball courts, a football field, a playground area, green space, but no pool.
The estimated cost is roughly $2.25 million at the same 26-acre spot as the original pool proposal.
Splinter said the proposed facility would not only cater to youth sports teams, but also to the community as a whole.
"There's a lot of green space built into this," Splinter said. "This is a multi-purpose complex. You can have everything for Byron's Good Neighbor Days in one location."
Splinter added the facility could potentially draw in tournaments as well, which in turn draws in revenue to both the facility and to Byron.
Tournaments could include events at both the youth level as well as the high school level.
"When teams are here, what are they doing?" Splinter asked. "They're spending money at the concession stand and at McDonalds at Byron Market Place and at Kwik Trip. They're putting money back into the community."
Council members want to know more.
The council directed members of the youth associations to work with staff on setting up a business plan for the facility and then to bring it back.
"Once you build it, there's a huge amount of payments," councilman Bret Baumbach said. "There's a lot of mowing that needs to be done... What kind of money are you going to bring in what kind of fees, what kind of tournaments and fundraisers."
Splinter said the associations are looking into some of those things and even looking at grants as well.