Today, leaders from Elizabethton City Schools (ECS), City of Elizabethton, Elizabethton Soccer Association (ESA), Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Elizabethton/Carter County and members of the LaPorte Family broke ground on the LaPorte Sports Complex. The complex will house a multipurpose athletic field where the old hospital was located.
Director of Schools Dr. Corey Gardenhour gave special thanks to those in attendance and to those that made the project possible. “We appreciate City Council and the LaPorte’s and their vision for healthy kids, and we believe a lot of that begins with physical activity,” said Gardenhour. “It’s great that we’re now able to occupy this unused space, and to have kids getting outside playing and competing in a central location.”
The field will be used by ECS, BGC, and ESA for adult flag football, junior football, kids and teens soccer, and other sports. “We would love to host soccer tournaments here as well, and really hope this will be the start of similar projects sand possibly an additional field,” he said.
At the groundbreaking, Board Chair Rita Booher asked how many people in attendance had been born at the former hospital. Many raised their hands. “I think it’s cool that this place gets a second life,” said Booher. “It was a place that kept people healthy for a long time, and now it gets to do that again.”
Sam LaPorte said his family is excited to be involved and that this will be a great use for the space. “We have way too many kids that aren’t involved in exercise and sports, and we need more places for them to do that,” he said. “This will help us accomplish that for the next generation.”
The field has been graded and seeded, and he said the goal is to have it ready by Summer or Fall 2019.