Updated: September 17, 2013 2:03PM
CROWN POINT — The days seem to be getting closer and closer for a dome facility to be filled with air along the southeast side of the parking lot in front of the new adult softball complex in the Crown Point SportsPlex on North Street and Bulldog Boulevard. It is the furthest south on that side of the property and closest to the military museum.
On Sept. 9, the Redevelopment Commission sent its recommendation to approve an agreement for a long term lease to the Crown Point Board of Public Works and Safety. This lease will be for 20 years for the use of land where the private company will construct the base and inflate the dome structure for year round turf sports activities.
The lease was then approved on Sept. 11 by the board with SC Sports Group. Now it is up to them to get the funding from the bank to be able to inflate the 120,000 square foot dome. They are leasing just the footprint of the building. There is a 60-foot buffer area required around the dome by state code.
The agreement states that the land cannot be encumbered. The land is owned by the city, and the city can use the dome in off-peak hours in lieu of payment.
City Assistant Attorney Alex Kutanovski told the board that no city money is going into this project.
Mayor Dave Uran said that the assets that sit on this property are taxable. The Lake County assessor’s office will be given notice when a building permit is issued and then Hank Adams’ staff in the assessor’s office can assesses the value of the improvements.
Adams’ office will then ask Peggy Holinga Katona’s staff in the Lake County auditor’s office to issue a tax identification number so the owner of the improvements can be billed. The only thing missing on this real estate tax bill will be the value of real property. The bill will be strictly on the improvements.
According to Uran this will become an economic engine for the city. “This adds to our vision for the community,” Uran said.
A group of pediatricians is building this facility, but they will be hiring a professional administrator for it. The parking around the facility will be built, owned and maintained by the city. Since this parking is on public land it will be the responsibility of the Street Department to maintain this parking just like the rest of the parking within the SportsPlex facility.
The dome will provide practice and playing space for all sorts of activities that need turf. It is intended for soccer, football, softball, baseball and track. The field at 120,000 square feet will be the size of three soccer/football fields. An adult soccer field, the same size as used by the high school players, is wider than the American football field.
According to City Engineer, Tris Miles, the fully inflated dome should not block any residential view of the clock tower on the top of the old courthouse
The complex will be very beautiful with the clearing of the southern half of the ditch separating the parking lots on the east and west sides of the SportsPlex. With that more people will be able to see the dome and the military museum, as well as a view of the new softball stadium complex.