To accommodate the city's growing softball program, the Parks and Recreation Department is proposing the city build a new softball complex in southwest Provo.

LeRoy Dennis, Parks and Recreation director, said the idea is a bit premature, but "the point is that we need to be moving now toward getting something in place."The softball program grows each year with leaps and bounds," he said. "We started in 1982 with 18 slow-pitch teams and now we have 92."

If plans for the new complex were initiated now, the earliest it could be ready for softball games would be 1990.

Dennis presented his department's conceptual idea to the Provo City Council Tuesday. The softball complex would be on a 10-acre site and consist of four lighted softball diamonds and a parking lot.

He suggested the land for the park be acquired through a property trade with Provo School District. The city has had a joint agreement with the school district to develop park/school sites for 20 years. Through joint use, costs are reduced and the same citizens are served.

Dennis said school district officials favor the proposed complex because it would help them develop their 15-acre site at approximately 2550 W. Second South. They plan to build an elementary school there in the future.

In trade for the 10 acres, the school is asking for three acres at the Rotary Bicentennial Park on 1400 S. 16th East. The district has expressed interest in building an elementary school there.

Only five of the 13 acres at the Bicentennial Park have been developed by the city.

Dennis said they will be looking for several sources of money, but suggested a possible source of funding could come from proposed development at the Edgemont Lions' Park. Instead of using $260,000 to develop the Lions' Park or the 4800 North Park west of University Avenue, the money could be put into the softball quadruplex.

The softball complex will cost at least $560,000, Dennis said.

Council member Gordon Bullock said he liked the concept and the location because there would be better access to the quadruplex and it would accommodate traffic.