EAGLE MOUNTAIN — A huge new park that will allow for a growing sports program has soccer dad and coach Darren Twede optimistic.

"It's about time," he said after the City Council approved funding to begin construction of the 60-acre Mid-Valley Regional Park, make improvements for Eagle Point Park and build a skate park for Pony Express Memorial Park.

"This is a very young area. We have lots of kids out here," he said.

There's only one major park in the town of 22,000 — Nolan Park — and it hosts from 500 to 700 youth soccer players in the fall. Then add some 200 budding football players, and the park fills to capacity.

"There's no room to practice," he said.

The park is striped for soccer so football players take a back seat. Softball players get the park in the spring.

The first phase of the Mid-Valley Regional Park will allow two football games or three soccer games simultaneously by next fall, taking the pressure off of Nolan Park and giving city league teams the ability to host games, city spokeswoman Linda Peterson said. The future park lies west of The Ranches' collection of subdivisions and southeast of Unity Pass.

The park is being built on $1 million in land donated by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. The soccer and football fields will cost about $225,000 to put in.

Future plans include a recreation center with swimming pools that could be as large as 60,000 square feet, a site for a new city hall, a high school, basketball and tennis courts and picnic areas.

The city is still gathering information on the recreation center, which could include a more scientific study. Residents were polled informally on the city's Web site. Only 465 residents responded, with most in favor, Peterson said.

The City Council budgeted $80,000 for Eagle Point Park improvements. It approved plans for a children's playground, trails and barbecue sites at $42,250.

The skate park and pavilion area in Pony Express Memorial Park is budgeted for $350,000. The council approved a bid of $26,770 for the pavilion. The skate park is already under construction, with completion expected within a month, Peterson said.

With $2.4 million earmarked for park improvements this year, future construction includes baseball diamond enhancements at Nolan Park and Pony Express Park. A tennis court is planned at Pioneer Park.

Other improvements this year include landscaping at Overland Trails Park and a new parking lot at Walden Park.


E-MAIL: rodger@desnews.com