J.B. Red Owens Sports Complex
After years of planning by city officials and a citizen recreation committee, the City of Easley Recreation Complex became a mandate in November 1996, when voters approved a $3.3 million bond issue for its construction by a margin of almost 70 percent.
Construction began in the summer of 1997 when contractors and the National Guard began grading the 100 acre site. Bad weather during the winter and spring of 97/98 delayed completion of construction until spring of 1999 when the three field complex and Pavilion building opened for Little League play. The nature trail, a playground and picnic shelter were also opened in spring of 1999. All of the paved walking paths, parking, roads, and utilities for the entire 100 acre park were also completed as part of the Phase I development. A regional Little League Tournament was also held at the park in July/August, 1999. In 2001 the Pavilion hosted it’s first Big League Baseball World Series while Southern Wesleyan University became home “Village” for players, coaches and their families.
The five field softball complex was used for practice in spring of 1999, earlier than originally planned. Permanent grass has been on these fields and the five soccer/football fields in the lower park area. The City recently received a $150,000 state grant to further Phase II development, and Plans are being prepared to install fencing, lighting, and other facilities as funds are made available. The City is also considering a hospitality tax of 1% on restaurant meals, which would be used to finance this and other recreation and tourism facilities.