REPUBLIC, Mo. – On Friday evening, tennis teams could be seen playing at the courts at J.R. Martin Park. The players are from towns such as Clever and Aurora. Sights like this have become more common as the city’s parks and sports facilities draw people from surrounding towns.
“They do good with a lot of stuff and the rec programs, too. A lot of our kids come out here too,” stated Dan Jones, a tennis coach from Clever. “A few years ago, we called them because we only have two courts at the school and asked them if we could do our boys and girls tennis out here. And, they told me absolutely.”
Whether they’re from out of town, or in, everyone looks to be getting a lot more room to grow.
A massive new youth sports complex is in the works on the town’s north side, just off of James River Freeway between the Route MM and U.S. 60 exits. The city’s plans call for a park of 136 acres with up to 12 baseball-softball fields and 16 soccer fields. It’ll will be pattered after a sports park in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Republic staff recently visited that community to tour its facility and gather design ideas.
Republic’s city council recently approved the purchase of the land for $3.24-million using money already allocated for parks and infrastructure projects. The parks department says constructing the facility hinges on voters renewing two, one-quarter-cent sales taxes dedicated for park projects. The renewal could be presented to voters on the April 2022 ballot. If the initiative pass, construction on the complex could start next fall.
Players and coaches like Jones are excited to see what the future holds.
“That is going to be amazing. Not just the Republic kids but all the kids in the area as well as the regular community that aren’t involved in school sports”