Huntsvillians hoping to check out the new multi-sports complex at the old Becky Peirce Municipal Golf Course before summer turns to fall might need to do a reverse rain dance.
Ongoing rain that left the city soaked for much of last fall and this past spring has delayed progress at the venue. While some contractors have reported they still plan to meet target dates, the massive amount of dirt being moved at the old course at the corner of Airport Road and South Memorial Parkway has left a quagmire of sorts that has substantially slowed development.
“If we didn’t have any rain, we’d be through,’’ said Steve Ivey, director of the City of Huntsville Parks and Recreation. “As it is, we’re about six weeks behind, and that’s being kind to the contractors. If we got out there with heavy trucks, we’d tear things up and have to start over.’’
Ivey said a target opening date is somewhere in the middle of summer.
“If you can promise me it won’t rain, I could give you a date,’’ he said.
Plans are for the complex to feature a cross-country course, paved walking trail, dirt bike trail, disc golf courses, sand volleyball courts, golf driving range and a dog park.
For now, William Bell, the facility project coordinator, said the focus is on getting the grass-covered cross-country course and the walking trail ready for use. Next on his priority list is the dirt bike circuit, which is still in designing stages.
He said the cross-country course and walking trails are 75 to 80 percent complete.
“The biggest thing right now is getting a retaining wall around pond No. 1, and we’ve got three ponds,” he said. “The Lord has taken care of us pretty well up to this point. It could have been worse. We’re doing all we can.”
The cross-country course sod was placed late last month.
The Huntsville Sports Commission is charged with bringing events to the city.
“We’re going to schedule a lot of things there,’’ said Commission Director Ralph Stone. “Our role will be to identify and recruit events to pay for the thing.’’
A main attraction the sports commission will focus on right away is the cross-country course, which Stone said will be “world class.’’
“There will be opportunities for several sports there once it gets rolling,’’ he said.