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Unused land at Columbia improved as soccer fields

Students at Columbia Elementary School engage in games on new soccer fields. (CONTRIBUTED)
Students at Columbia Elementary School engage in games on new soccer fields. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Students at Columbia Elementary School took advantage of a new feature on their campus during end-of-the-year celebrations on May 16.

Two new soccer fields now are complete on the south end of the Columbia campus on Balch Road.

The fields are a result of a shortage of city recreational fields, a developer’s overabundance of fill dirt and available space at the school, John Peck said. Peck is manager of public relations for Madison City Schools.

Columbia students and youth sports teams affiliated with the City of Madison Parks and Recreation Department will use the joint soccer complex.

Columbia physical education teacher Kelly Fields said the extra playing fields will greatly benefit the school. “With the number of kids we’ve got, this gives us more chance to spread out with different activities and keep more kids actively involved,” Fields said.

In June 2013, Madison Board of Education approved a ceiling of $100,000 from the general fund to apply to the project, along with use of the undeveloped land on Columbia’s campus.

“I’m happy to seeing (the school district) work in collaboration with the city and private individuals,” board member Dr. Terry Johnston said last summer.

Local developer Donnie Spencer Jr. is building a nearby subdivision and donated fill dirt valued at approximately $100,000. The dirt was used to level and build up the fields, along with other site work.

Madison Mayor Troy Trulock and Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said the partnership is a great example of “team work” on an new asset to the school system, general public and Balch Road neighborhoods.

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