latte Ridge Park, located a few miles north of Platte City along Hwy. 371, is about to become even more welcoming to youth sports activities.
Chris Oryshyn, assistant director of Platte County Parks and Recreation, says upgrades to an existing three full-size football field complex will soon be underway.
In July, the Platte County Commission gave McClure Engineering the go-ahead to begin designing an expansion to the youth football field complex at Platte Ridge Park. McClure is providing its professional services in conjunction with Platte Ridge Park’s Master Plan for expanding outdoor activities and amenities in the best manner possible.
The plans are calling for a new restroom facility with a water fountain and water bottle filling station, improvements to the parking lot, a concession stand, and playground inside the 215-acre park located at 17130 Hwy. 371 north of Platte City.
Officials say the additional prosaic amenities are needed to accommodate the increasing youth sports visitors and their families.
“The parks department partners with the Platte County Youth Football league for the primary use of the complex,” says Oryshyn. “They use the complex from early August through October. During the week, the entire Platte County youth program uses it for practice, which includes their kindergarten through 6th grade teams. On the weekends, the fields host the flag football games which are K-2 grade.”
“This past season there were 27 area teams playing their flag games at the complex every Saturday for an 8-week regular season, and an end of the year tournament,” added Oryshyn. “Teams were from Platte County, Smithville, Mid-Buchanan, East Buchanan, Weston, Liberty and Kearney.”
Joe Vanover, second district commissioner for Platte County, recognizes the value of adding suitable amenities for youth sports activities.
“Platte County is the fastest growing county in Missouri, and we are expanding the facilities at Platte Ridge Park to give more children a place to play organized sports,” said Vanover.
The design services, performed at a cost of $8,500, are currently underway. Over the past few months, McClure has been preparing two separate design layouts for county officials to consider. From vehicular and pedestrian circulation paths to an outdoor plaza area and a jump-up, play-away playground, each layout featured amenities that enhanced the 16-year-old park.
“We have the conceptual design complete and are working toward finalizing a contract with an engineer to complete the final design,” said Oryshyn. “The hope is to be out to bid in March, and have construction wrapped up before the next season starts in August. Games begin on Labor Day weekend in 2022.”
The proposed playground will feature a rope climbing structure, hill slide, nature play element, and log run.
Although there are restrooms in the vicinity of the soccer fields, McClure seeks to erect new restrooms much closer to the football area for everyone’s convenience. Additional plans, they recommend, include an ADA parking area with trailer access that improves accessibility, maintenance building, ADA accessible asphalt trail around field 1, and non-ADA accessible asphalt trail looping around fields 2 and 3.
“With these upgrades we may be able to host more games in the future,” said Oryshyn. “We also partner with Weston Soccer League in the spring for soccer games and will be seeking out other partners to use the facility in the future during the football off season.”
Another amenity that will be considered regardless of sporting proclivities is a concession stand.
“During the parks sales tax campaign 10 years ago, a large amount of money was set aside for improvements to Platte Ridge Park,” said Vanover. “As the years have gone by, we have improved the park to include baseball fields, soccer fields, a cross country course, and football fields. Earlier this year the county commission approved installing bleachers for the football fields to accommodate the growing use. The next expansion will include better parking, a concession stand, a trail around the fields, and a small playground.”
When the final design for the expansion is approved, the county will seek bids for the construction and supervise the work pertaining to the construction. As best as can be determined, the Platte County Parks Department plans to spend more than a $1 million on the expansion to the football field complex.
“Platte Ridge Park is a wonderful place for kids to enjoy sports and for parents to enjoy watching their children grow. One of my favorite times as a parent was coaching my kids’ soccer teams at Platte Ridge Park,” said Vanover.