Baseball and softball fields at a new athletic complex in Temple won't open until the fall of next year because the mandatory water restrictions the city implemented due to the drought.
The stage 2 mandatory conservation limits when residents can water the lawn and fill pools.
The Parks and Recreation Department anticipated putting down the grass at Crossroads Recreational Complex in the upcoming months but that process won’t happen until April. This means the fields won't be ready until the fall of 2019.
"Across the city in our parks, we only water a couple of times a week, on our designated times but when you put down sprigs, you have to water multiple times a day every day, when you have it established," Parks Director Kevin Beavers said. "We like to get going but we also know we have to be good partners."
Temple Youth Baseball Association President John Hinkle said the organization hoped to use the four baseball fields in the spring.
"It won't impact our league for our spring season. It will impact tournament wise, being able to host select tournaments that we were looking forward to hosting here," Hinkle said.
He said the organization can still host the tournaments at the existing fields. However, the recruitment of newer members will have to wait longer.
"We were looking forward to our numbers growing as far as our league, getting more people on the west side of Temple, instead of having to play in Belton," Hinkle said.
Elizabeth Park with the Temple Youth Softball Association said the group is grateful for the project and it would be satisfied whenever the project is completed.
Park and Hinkle both agreed water conservation is a priority.
The city expected to put down sprigs on the soccer fields in September. Next week, city officials will determine if they would like to go ahead with that process or if it will be delayed. The decision will take into consideration whether the water restrictions have been lifted.
The $11.2 million project, which was part of a bond packet voters passed in 2015, includes a disc golf course, tennis courts and a trail system, which will open in April.
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