Columbia City Council to vote on Antimi Sports Complex improvements

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COLUMBIA – As temperatures start dipping, Columbia looks to make improvements to its outdoor sports fields.

The Columbia City Council will hold a public hearing and vote at their meeting Monday on whether to make improvements to Antimi Sports Complex in Cosmo Park.

Parks and Recreation proposed the improvements, which include replacing the fencing on four fields surrounding the concession and restroom building, expanding dugouts and spectator seating, installing irrigation systems, and improving ADA accessibility.

The fields around the concession building were already stripped of their fencing and outfield dirt. Construction signs were placed near the area.

The estimated cost of the project is around $450,000, but the city wants a portion of the project to be funded through bids. The rest will come from the 2015 Park Sales Tax approved by voters.

Columbia College’s softball team practices and hosts home matches at a nearby field that will receive minor upgrades, but the team is planned to move from there to one of the upgraded fields that will have enhanced soil installed. Fields will also be downsized from 250 to 220 feet to meet NCAA softball requirements for sanctioned tournaments.

Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas said he will likely support Parks and Recreation’s project. 

“They provide excellent services and facilities for the community,” Thomas said. “Their ballot issues have always passed with strong majorities, often as much as 70 percent, which is really incredible for the park projects and the recreation programs and the trails that they construct. So, I have a lot of confidence in Mike Griggs and his team.” 

Parks and Recreation wants to begin construction this fall with plans to complete the project by summer 2018, according to a council memo.