PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The City of Pascagoula unveiled new lighting and drainage at the Soccer Complex Tuesday night. This means hundreds of kids can play at night.
“It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been waiting for a while... very excited to see it done. And we are already benefiting from it," said president of Coast Soccer Club Ben Wilder.
Eighteen teams play on the fields. That’s 200 kids, along with 38 coaches.
“In the last couple of years, they’ve had temporary lights run by generators," Wilder added. "Anytime you’re trying to run a recreation organization, you’re trying to keep costs low. I’m using all volunteers. So, when they come out here and the lights are off or something, it’s a big challenge.”
The upgrades are courtesy of a recreation bond from 2017, enacted by the previous administration. Four hundred seventy thousand dollars went toward the lighting on four of the eight fields, plus improvements to drainage.
“The lights are phenomenal. You can see how well it’s lit up out here, and our girls adore it," said coach and parent Jenni Jones. She and her 10-year-old daughter have been playing at the Soccer Complex for four years.
“Absolutely, we feel much safer," she added.
Proper drainage means no more muddy fields.
“It was complete mud ankle deep. When you tried to come in, and you would try to cross the parking spots onto the fields, it was ankle deep mud,” Jones said.
The total recreation bond is $12 million. That’s also going toward the sportsplex on Convent Avenue behind Pascagoula High School. Phase one of that project is complete. That included excavation and demolition. Phase two will begin shortly.
The recreation bond money for the upgrades comes from the prepared food tax.
Coast Soccer Club will offer registration at the beginning of March for all ages and levels. Click here to visit the organization online.