Darlington may need to rethink ball park plans

Officials in Darlington may have to re-think a plan to use ballparks owned by the Darlington County School District for a future recreation complex.

DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – Officials in the City of Darlington may have to re-think a plan to use ballparks owned by the Darlington County School District for a future recreation complex.

Monday night the school board voted to give the city two of the parks that it asked for, refusing to relinquish two other parks, namely Blue Street fields and the St. Johns Elementary Amphitheater. City officials requested use of the school district parks to create a sports tourism destination for softball and baseball teams and said bringing in tournaments is a big goal of the project.

Last week, Darlington city officials said work on the two new recreation complexes was ready to get started, pending the school district’s approval. Leaders planned to use a $1.9 million hospitality bond to fund the construction.

The school board’s decision Monday night, though, may slow down that process.School board members said they wanted to hold on to the Blue Street Fields complex that sits next to Darlington High School because they may want to use it for a future expansion project, though no such plans exist just yet.

Darlington City Recreation Director Lee Andrews said Monday’s vote may change a few things, but the plan is still intact.

“We’ll have to go back to the drawing board,” Andrews said. “Four fields is not going to be enough, and we’ll have to visit that at a later date. We’ll have to see, there’s some other things that we’ve got in mind that we haven’t put out there yet, but we just look forward to working on this and getting it going.”