New Sports Complex Potentially Coming to Georgetown - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Sports Complex Potentially Coming to Georgetown

Posted: 07/28/2017 17:40:00 -04:00 Updated:

GEORGETOWN, Del. - There may be another place to play ball in Sussex County.

Businessman Joseph Schell is donating over 50 acres to build a sports complex on Sand Hill Road just off Route Nine in Georgetown. Schell says he was inspired to create such a complex after seeing his grandchildren have to travel far for lacrosse tournaments. The facility will have eight multi-use fields, for sports like lacrosse and soccer.

"One of the things that people don't understand is when you have a facility like this, just like Sports at the Beach, it attracts an awful lot of people from out of state," he says. "A lacrosse tournament at our complex will bring in huge amount of economic impact to the hospitality industry: the hotels, the motels, the restaurants, the shops."

Schell says the complex will also include pickleball courts and a three mile walking trail. It will also have food trucks during events. He says the facility can double as a park for local recreational sports teams and Sussex Countians.

"This is where we want to be. It's the center of our county," Schell tells WBOC. "We are hopeful that people from the Western part and the Eastern part can collide right here on our field and get to know each other better."

Schell says the complex will cost $4 million, and fundraising plans call for it to be 64% covered by private donations, and the remaining 36% from public sources such as the town of Georgetown or funds from Sussex County. Schell submitted plans to the town of Georgtown last week, and the preliminary site plan is being reviewed by the town engineer, says Georgetown Planning Administrator Jocelyn Godwin. In an email to WBOC, Godwin writes: "Comments will be forwarded to the applicant, and at the point the plan is  determined sufficient, the site plan will be referred to the Planning Commission."

WBOC spoke with some neighbors of the complex. All said they supported the idea of the complex but worried about some of its effects. 

"My main concern is the noise and the lighting," says Toni Meunier. "Because from the other sports complex (nearby Sports at the Beach) we hear it all the way down here."

Lindsay Cannon owns Little Einstein's Preschool on Sand Hill Road and says the complex may cause extra traffic, but she's confident the state will handle that appropriately. She says she plans to take her students there for field trips.

"I'm sure they're going to have different activities where our kids could get out and enjoy that and enjoy the fresh air," she tells WBOC.

Schell says if the town approves the plans, the complex will open in the fall of 2018. 

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