MOULTRIE — Over the years, the Colquitt County High girls softball team has played at the Knuck McCrary Sports Complex, Ike Aultman Field and at the Jim Buck Goff Recreation Complex.

But by July, the Lady Packers could have a home of their own at Packer Park.

Work is under way on a portion of the 214 acres the Colquitt County Board of Education purchased in 2001 off Darbyshire Road behind Moultrie Technical College to build three soccer fields, a softball field and a baseball field.

Plans are to have the softball field ready when the Lady Packers begin practice for the 2006 season in July.

Last year, the Colquitt County girls softball team played its home opener on Aug. 25.

The soccer fields and the new baseball field are planned for use by next spring.

A well is being drilled and water system installed in preparation for sprigging of grass around April 15.

Bids for the construction of the press box/concession stand, stands, dugouts and dressing facilities are expected to be opened Feb. 17.

Rick Gehle, the school system’s facilities director, says construction could begin in mid-March.

Plans call for the construction of just one softball field and one baseball field. Areas one more softball and baseball field will be sprigged and irrigated, but not be initially lighted and fenced.

All three soccer fields will be of regulation size and all three will have scoreboards. Although only one will be lighted, all three could be used for game play if a daytime tournament were scheduled.

Gehle said he was unsure whether the parking lot, which will serve both the soccer fields and the baseball-softball complex, would be paved this year. Paving will be depend on funding.

He said, however, that a base would be put down.

“It won’t be a mud hole,” he said.

And while landscaping may not be complete when the Packer Park is first used, Gehle said he thought visitors would be impressed with the facilities, which will feature brick construction and dressing facilities adjacent to the home dugouts on the baseball and softball fields.

“It’s going to be attractive,” Gehle said. “We’ll do the landscaping bit by bit and piece by piece, like we did at the Magnolia Complex. But it is going to be nice.”

The Colquitt County High School and middle school soccer teams will play at Mack Tharpe Stadium at Tom White Field again this year, before moving to Packer Park for practices and games next spring.

The soccer teams currently practice at the Moultrie YMCA.

The Colquitt County baseball teams will play their final season at Ike Aultman Field on the high school campus this season.

In fact, Gehle said that not long after the final out in made in the final home game this spring, taking down what has been the Packers home for more than 25 years will begin.

Plans call for converting the area of the baseball field into a football practice facility.

Two regulation-sized practices fields and a field house will be built on the site. Having the fields and field house behind the school will enable the varsity, B-team and ninth-grade teams to practice simultaneously on campus and not have to travel across town to practice at the stadium and at the small field behind the stadium field house.

Original plans called for a 10,000-square-foot field house adjacent to the two fields.

School officials have visited Fitzgerald High to view its recently built field house. Colquitt County’s facility could be completed in phases.

And because the site of the currently Ike Aultman Field is in a low-lying area, extensive work will be needed to ensure the practice fields drain well.

It is hoped the campus practice fields will be ready for use prior to the 2007 season.

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