Concern Grows Over Sports Facility That Could be Coming to Gardendale

Concern Grows Over Sports Facility That Could be Coming to Gardendale

By: Justin Kree

NewsWest 9

GARDENDALE- The quiet, peaceful community of Gardendale could soon be seeing a new youth football complex in their park.

The Permian Basin Youth Football League is looking to build two youth football fields, restrooms, a concession stand, and a smaller flag football field. It will take up over three-fourths of the park.

Residents Jojo Lara and Sharyn Carrigan are upset to see this major facility being built and taking away the quiet area they have come to love.

"My Grandchildren come on weekends. So if this in fact does happen, do you really think I'm going to take my grandchildren down to the park now when it's already full of other children? It's going to be completely full. We live here because we kinda like our peace and quiet," Lara said.

A town hall meeting was held last week to talk about the football fields and to address the concerns. In a statement from the Permian Basin Youth Football League, they said: "We met the residents of Gardendale with Commissioner Simmons at a town hall meeting last Thursday to listen and address their concerns. There is nothing new to report at this time."

NewsWest 9 also tried to contact Commissioner Simmons but there was no answer from his office.

"Really no questions were answered at our meeting. That's the frustrating thing. We just voiced our concerns and how we felt about it and what's happen to our community. Because it is our community," Lara said.

The residents NewsWest 9 spoke with believe there is a need for youth sports but being so far from a hospital in case someone gets hurt on the football fields in just one reason they want this facility to be built in Odessa.

"The traffic, the noise, the trash. It isn't going to take away from that," Lara said.

The baseball diamond is one of the things that will be torn down if the football fields are built. But a certain bird known as the Western Burrowing Owl makes their nest right here in the park. This bird is being protected by the Migratory Bird Texas Act.

Because this owl is being protected by the act, the concerned residents want to know if the building will get the green light.

The park is empty now because the arenas and bathrooms that currently exist are locked and unable to use. If the project is built, Lara's afraid residents won't be able to use the complex at all because a gate will be built around the new facility.

"So we're not going to be able to use our park for what we use it for," Lara said.