Army Reserve Members Help Prepare Ground To House Future Sports Complex

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)-The Army Reserve is helping to prepare the future home of the River Valley Sports Complex.

“We were tasked with clearing and grubbing, which is working with all the organic materials from the site and creating drainage,” Sgt. Benjamin Cranford, 277th Engineer said.

For the past 28 days, the 277th Engineers, who are based out of San Antonio, Texas have been working on the soon-to-be River Valley Sports Complex.

“They`ve been here now for four weeks, and they`re gonna take about 10 days off and work another two weeks,” Lee Webb, project co-coordinator said.

They’re not only doing the grading for the project, but also going through their training for the Army Reserve.

“We have a lot of new operators that weren`t with us on previous deployments and they`re gaining a lot of proficiency,” Sgt. Cranford said. “They`re becoming better operators through operations like this.”

Because they’re doing the work, they’re saving the city at least half a million dollars, according to Webb.

“If you count the city`s portion, and the guard`s, we think it`s roughly a $4 million project,” Webb said.

The city is footing $1.6 million of the bill after the Chaffee Crossing donated the land needed.

“It`s been a great value to us to get this project moving long at a good cost-effective way,” Mike Alsup, Fort Smith Parks and Recreation Director said.

A new group of Army Reserve members will finish the grading by Sept. 22. The developer said construction is expected to begin by the beginning of next summer.

Once construction is complete, the complex will feature eight ball-fields designed to host both youth and adult softball and baseball tournaments.