$600,000 Donation Aids Upgrade of Youth Sports Park

People enjoy the city’s Cypress Youth Sports Complex.   But there are 600,000 reasons why they’ll be able to enjoy it even more. That’s how many dollars Mike and Kathy McGee are donating to the city to help cover the cost of additional fields and upgrades to the facility.

“It’s already a gorgeous park,” said Bob Donahay, Lakeland’s director of parks and recreation. “This will make it a lot more user friendly and we couldn’t appreciate it more.”

The park at 2125 E. Edgewood Drive is mainly for youth soccer but sometimes is used for lacrosse and football.

The 33-acre complex opened in 2012 with four fields. The second phase of construction, awarded to  Rodda Construction, will include two more soccer fields.

Two of the four fields at the site now are lit for night competition. But with the addition of two more fields, all six of the fields will be lit.

And the upcoming work will include a playground, a walking path and more parking.

“The Parks and Recreation Department is set to begin Phase 2 of construction,” a memo from the City Attorney’s Office to the City Commission said. The gift still needs commission approval, which should come Monday afternoon during its regular meeting.

The city has $1 million in impact fees to pay for the construction project, which will total $1.6 million.

The complex will be named John McGee Park, after Mike McGee’s late father, who opened the first four in what would become a chain of 30 tire outlets, mostly under the Goodyear flag.

Mike McGee said the naming of the park is solely to honor his father.

He said the gift to “a great community” is a way to give back to it. He plans to attend the City Commission meeting Monday when his gift is scheduled to be accepted.

McGee said the city hasn’t publicized this, but the playground will focus on a vehicle theme, such as a bus or truck with slides.

Mayor Bill Mutz, in a text message to LkldNow, said the city appreciates the gift from the McGees. He said children will appreciate it even more.

Memorandum of Understanding:

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