Taylor proposes mammoth sports center

Published 10:38 pm Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dr. Bruce Taylor is enlisting the help of the very people he envisions building a complex for.

Taylor and several youths — along with a team of legal and architectural professionals — will combine to present plans for an entertainment and sports complex at the Dallas County Commission and Selma City Council meetings on Monday.

Taylor made his plans public for the first time during the city council’s work session Thursday night. The plans include an indoor family fun center on one side of the 37 acres behind his practice on U.S. 80 West. The other side, close to the Selma Softball Complex, will include youth baseball and football fields, a walking and running trail, gazebos, and a pond.

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Taylor will privately fund the $5.5 million project and hopes to get a buyback agreement from the city for the outdoor sports facilities, which cover more than 20 acres. That will cost the city $4 million.

“We’re going to build the youth sports complex, and it’s probably going to take 14 months from the time we start construction to build,” Taylor said. “Once it’s built, the purchase agreement will go into effect, and the city will then pay us back for the project. That payment can be over a set period of time, whether that’s 20 or 25 years.”

City Council President Pro Tempore Jean T. Martin presided over the work session in the absence of President George Evans.

She said she was impressed by Taylor’s team and conducted her own informal poll of citizens sitting in Thursday.

“It was all positive. They think it’s something Selma needs,” Martin said. “Not just Selma, this part of the state because it could serve young people in these Black Belt counties, or even farther, really.”

Taylor’s request from the county is that it vacates and move Johnson Road, something Probate Judge Kim Ballard doesn’t foresee as a problem.

“It doesn’t infringe upon any right of way or anything like that,” Ballard said.

Taylor anticipates construction could start three or four months after approval from the city and county.