The Dec. 6 print version of this story incorrectly said Hilliard officials are considering leasing 50 acres for Vertical Adventures' rock- and rope-climbing facility. The lease would be for about 1.3 acres.
Construction of a Miracle Field and a preliminary design for the first phase of the Grener Sports Complex between Cosgray and Leppert roads north of Scioto Darby Road is expected to begin in 2019.
But Hilliard City Council first must approve the 2019 capital-improvements budget, and that likely won't come until well after the new year begins, according to council Vice President Kelly McGivern.
However, she said, the delay is not because of the Miracle Field and the sports complex, but discussion on other projects that should be included, not included or funded at different levels in the budget.
"We want to have a venue that will attract regional tournaments to Hilliard and in turn bring business to our hotels and restaurants," Councilman Les Carrier said.
The Miracle Field has been on City Council's radar since plans were announced in April.
A Miracle Field enables adults and children with a variety of physical or mental challenges to play baseball games, including those organized by the Miracle League of Central Ohio, on a field that can accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. One of the league's Miracle Fields already is at Darree Fields Park, 6259 Cosgray Road in Dublin.
Hilliard's $18.3 million 2019 capital-improvements budget earmarks $1.3 million for the Miracle Field and sports complex, but a $400,000 state grant would reduce the actual amount to $900,000, according to public-services director Butch Seidle.
The Miracle Field, a parking lot and entrance road are expected to cost $1.16 million, Seidle said, and the remainder of the $1.3 million would be used for design of the first phase of the sports complex.
Referred to as the Grener Soccer Complex in the early stages, the name was changed to the Grener Sports Complex when plans advanced to the design-and-development phase because the multiuse fields also could be used for lacrosse and other field sports, he said.
"The main use of the site will be athletic fields, primarily soccer," Seidle said. "Everything else is still in the design and development stage that will wind up around June 2019."
"A lot is yet to be decided but we hope to have a complex for tournament use, as well as a community facility," said Ed Merritt, director of the Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department.
The next capital-improvement budgets are expected to set aside $5.5 million in 2020, $5.8 million in 2021 and $5.7 million in 2022 for construction and inspection of the Grener Sports Complex each year, said council President Albert Iosue.
The Miracle Field and Grener Sports Complex would be built on part of the 103 acres the city agreed to purchase in 2014 from Hilliard City Schools for $40,000 per acre, a total of about $4 million.
The district still owns roughly 20 acres on Leppert Road from the former Grener property, according to Stacie Raterman, a spokeswoman for the district. The district had purchased 124 acres on the site in 2003, for $50,000 per acre, from the Grener family as a site for the district's third high school but after voters rejected two bond issues, instead purchased land on Walker Road for Bradley High School, which opened in 2009.
About 7 acres of the Grener parcel were sold for the Bo Jackson's Elite Sports facility at 4696 Cosgray Road.
About 1.3 acres of the Grener land could be used for Vertical Adventures' rock- and rope-climbing facility south of Bo Jackson's Elite Sports if City Council approves a ground lease.
The Miracle Field and sports complex also would be south of Bo Jackson's Elite Sports.
Council members met for almost five hours Dec. 3, matching the length of a Nov. 26 session in which members dissected the proposed capital-improvements budget and general-fund operating budget. The operating budget is expected to be approved Monday, Dec. 10.
McGivern said council members have until the end of January to approve the capital-improvements budget and would continue discussion of the budget through next month.