Eldred Glen plans

This image, provided by the Meadville Area Recreation Complex, shows the proposed changes to the Eldred Glen athletic complex located at Thurston Road. The upgrades, as proposed by MARC Executive Director Aaron Rekich and community leader Heather Clancy-Young, will include an all-turf baseball field along with an all-turf multi-sport field that can host soccer, football, softball and lacrosse.

The move is underway to turn the Eldred Glen athletic complex into a state-of-the-art sports facility in Crawford County. 

Eldred Glen, which is owned by the Meadville Area Recreation Complex, is currently the site of a baseball diamond and indoor hitting facility used primarily by the Meadville Area Senior High School and Meadville Italian Civic Club baseball teams, as well as a large grass multi-use field.

Two community members — Meadville Area Recreation Complex (MARC) Executive Director Aaron Rekich and ONE Federal Credit Union Chief Executive Officer Heather Clancy-Young — are looking to give those facilities a facelift. 

“This project is in the planning stages,” said Clancy-Young.

“It started out with Heather and me just talking as community leaders,” added Rekich. “What can we do for the baseball team and the community as a whole?”

The new complex, as it’s now envisioned, will consist of an all-turf baseball field along with an all-turf multi-sport field that can host soccer, football, softball and lacrosse. The plan also includes lighting, a large concession/restroom area, fan seating and paved parking areas. 

“Really it’s going to complete the MARC,” Rekich said. 

The next phase for Rekich and Clancy-Young is garnering enough interest and funding from the community to make the endeavor a reality.

“There is a project, there is conceptual drawings out there, we’re looking for community support,” added Clancy-Young.

There is currently no estimated cost for the project, as the details are still being finalized.

“With the conceptual art we have we don’t have a definitive number,” Rekich said. “We’re going to have to go through some processes with the municipalities first.”

The three municipalities involved are Vernon and West Mead townships and Meadville as well as the Meadville Area Recreation Authority (MARA) and the Meadville Area Recreation Foundation (MARF) board.

So, there’s still some red tape to deal with, possibly even a few years worth.

“The project is so large,” said Clancy-Young. “We deal with weather and such. We are still in the concept drawing stages. Based on the work that needs to get done, this is a couple-year project.”

Clancy-Young and Rekich both see the positives that such a project can bring to the Meadville community.

“The MARC is trying to serve all,” said Rekich. “We’re trying a rebranding to serve the entire community. (The community) has a nice football stadium, now it’s time for the baseball stadium. So we feel the MARC, and Heather as a community member, can help with that.”

With the spot being so close to Meadville Area Senior High School and its central location in town, the multi-sport complex can be utilized by all in the area.

“Knowing the dynamics, a lot of kids need the ability to walk (to the location),” said Clancy-Young.

Such a facility could also draw in people from out of town. For instance, the annual Bulldog Invitational hockey tournament, which takes place at the MARC’s DeArment Ice Arena, draws in numerous out-of-towners to area hotels and eateries each winter.

“The hockey tournament brings in revenue. We want to do that here for the summer,” Rekich said.

Clancy-Young added that the field could be used for playoff contests as Meadville is a centralized location in District 10.

“The players are like, ‘Why isn’t it done yet?’” laughed Clancy-Young.

Jordan Hansgen can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at jhansgen@meadvilletribune.com

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