New athletics complex coming to Southwest
Trap ranges to be built, ballfields redone
With approval of three of four voters, the Southwest school district is preparing for a $2 million athletics facilities project with a main goal unique to the area — a trap shooting range.
On April 5, voters in the district decided 417 for and 136 against, a 75-25 margin, to approve the building of new trap ranges, softball and baseball fields, press box, concessions and restrooms.
The trap range will include a shot-stop curtain, and there will be walkways, viewing areas and a trap house.
The baseball and softball fields will have proper sloping, improving the playing surface; new fencing, backstops and dugouts; and stormwater upgrades that will avoid overflow and erosion.
The press box building will have a PA system to service both ballfields, and there will be new restrooms with multiple stalls and sinks, as well as a concession area with roll-up door, a sink and a serving counter.
Work is expected to begin this year and be completed in 2023.
“The Southwest trap teams have been successful for two decades, and it is growing in popularity,” said Tosha Tilford, superintendent of Southwest schools. “Having our own trap field will bring people from outside of the community. That means our local businesses will get more business. Think of it as comparable to building a football field.
“How many kids over the past 22 years have been involved with this program? It has changed kids lives. It is important to me to keep going — we need to build here at home.”
To those concerned about noise from the facility, Tilford said the timing will be appropriate.
“We won’t be shooting after 10 p.m.,” she said. “And, we don’t plan to be shooting early in the morning. This will fall in normal extracurricular activity time slots for students. My son shot trap. I have seen first hand as a parent the value for a kid that trap can have.”