City to add press box, restrooms at J.B. Owens Complex

Billy Cannada Staff Writer

October 19, 2013

EASLEY – A $272,000 facility will add bathrooms and a press box to the lower soccer fields at the J.B. “Red” Owens Sports Complex in Easley, officials say.

Easley City Council voted to approve the project at Monday’s monthly meeting, awarding a contract to the Phillips Brothers to begin construction.

City officials say completion on the project is expected in the spring of 2014.

“(The J.B. Owens Complex) is 15 years old and there’s just stuff you have to do,” Simons said. “It gets used a lot. Our numbers are increasing and there are just things you have to do to accommodate the growth.”

The new facility will be located at the lower soccer fields between fields “C” and “D,” Simons said.

Funds for the project will come from the city’s hospitality tax, which has funded several projects in the past and recently helped purchase an eight mile stretch of the Doodle Line, which the city hopes to convert into a recreational trail.

“Hopefully there will be some adjustments we can make to get that price down a little bit,” Simons said. “We’re going to manage it as we go and we’re going to work like the dickens to keep it as close to $272,000 as we can.”

Simons said the Phillips Brothers are the same contractors that constructed the recently added batting cages at the sports complex. The city administrator hopes this project will open more doors for the recreation department in the future.

“We wanted to try to increase the number of tournaments we can do to better utilize those fields,” Simons said. “One of the drawbacks that prevented us from doing that has been a facility. This will allow us to put up scoreboards and do the other things we need to do to make it more accommodating.”

The soccer program at the Easley Rec currently boasts about 400 participants, according to Simons.