Frericks says field maintenance, parking lot and culvert must be addressed before Paul Dennis Soccer Complex fields are used

Frankie with Rome Frericks

Rome Frericks, left, executive director of the Quincy Park District, talks with Frankie Murphy Giesing during a recording of the "Frankie Say" podcast on Muddy River TV.

QUINCY — Members of the Quincy youth soccer community chomping at the bit to play games — for both recreational and club teams — at the Paul Dennis Soccer Complex need to be patient.

The Quincy Park Board voted unanimously in October to approve the transfer of the 22-acre site at 4201 State from the Quinsippi Soccer League Association to the Quincy Park District. Rome Frericks, executive director of the Quincy Park District, says the complex’s seven fields won’t be used until the fall of 2024 — at the earliest.

“It takes time,” Frericks said during the “Frankie Say” podcast with Frankie Murphy Giesing recorded Wednesday for Muddy River TV. “When we turn on the water April 1, we hope there’s no leaks. The public needs to be patient. (The Park District’s proposed plan) gives us a year to get those fields on the same program that Boots Bush is on.”

Boots Bush Park is the site of the Park District’s spring and fall recreational leagues. The park is north of the Paul Dennis complex, separated only by a tree line and a chain-link fence.

Right now, all the Park District has is a signed donation agreement. Frericks said attorneys are working with Klingner and Associates on title work and surveys.

“There are two different easements, one from the 1920s that mentioned horses and carriages, and one from the 1940s,” Frericks said. 

Frericks said the Park District has budgeted approximately $400,000 to make improvements at the soccer complex, with $100,000 set aside for a failed culvert at the entrance and $300,000 to mill and resurface the parking lot for more than 300 parking spots.

“But right now, we don’t even own it yet,” Frericks said. “Hopefully by March, we’ll have the title work and the surveys in our hands. We have to work with Ameren on the culvert that’s failed, and that’s a two-month process.”

The proposed plan calls for parking lot work to be completed during the summer. Frericks said Rick Miles, superintendent at Westview Golf Course, has the Boots Bush Park fields on a three-step maintenance program that he wants to start at Paul Dennis this spring. Frericks said he has about $15,000 set aside for that project.

He hopes to have a couple of fields ready for a recreational league for seventh- and eighth-grade students in the fall, with plans to open the entire complex in the spring of 2025.

Frericks wants the Park District staff to create a master site plan for the soccer complex that also might include a shelter house or walking trails.

“But you’ve got to crawl before you walk, and you’ve got to walk before you run,” he said. “We have a lot of irons in the fire right now.”

Among them are the installation of a $2 million irrigation project at Westview Golf Course, the installation of turf at two baseball/softball fields at the site of the former Wavering Pool and the construction of an all-inclusive playground/restroom at Wavering Park.

Frericks said the number of players in the Park District’s recreational leagues has grown from 500 five years ago to nearly 1,700 this past year. (Some of those 1,700 players are counted in both the fall and spring leagues.) He said the popularity of weeknight games, leaving weekends free, has helped increase numbers.

Frericks also said he plans to have a meeting this fall to discuss renting the fields out and allowing Boots Bush and Paul Dennis to be the site of tournaments for local club teams. The Park District’s turf baseball/softball fields in Wavering and Moorman parks welcome dozens of traveling teams to Quincy on weekends during the spring and summer. 

“We’ve got to get the property safe so people can get on it,” Frericks said. “We have to take our time to get where we need to go. … People want everything now, but the Park District doesn’t own it yet.”

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