Mebane could get a 32-acre park

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MEBANE, N.C. – Tonight, the Mebane City Council will vote on whether or not to purchase a 32 acre plot of land on West Clay Street, on the edge of downtown Mebane, with plans to turn it into a park.

Recreation and Parks Director Dean Ray said building a downtown community park has been a priority for the city for several years.

"It's very exciting," he said. "It'd be connecting to downtown Mebane, which is the heart of Mebane now."

Ray said the land would cost about $600,000, and initial plans are for it to have a Frisbee golf course, swimming pools, soccer fields, tennis courts and perhaps a basketball court.

The volunteers behind the Mebane Youth Soccer Association said, for them, the extra soccer fields in the park would fill a huge need.

Dave Riley, Director of Coaching, said there are 1,200 players in the youth league and only four soccer fields.

"Soccer has really blown up over the past few years," Riley said. "Over the past 10 years, from 200 to 1200 kids."

Soccer mom Dana Huffman said the lack of field space means that, sometimes, her two boys must practice soccer on a baseball field, while a baseball practice is also going on.

"We're practicing in the outfield and of course we're making sure the kids don't get hit with some pop flies coming their way," she said.

Recreation and Parks Director Dean Ray said if the City Council approves the purchase it would take two to three years until construction would be complete.