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Decatur ‘Coalition’ hoping to build track

A Decatur collective calling itself “The Legacy Park Athletics and Recreation Coalition,” began meeting in July with the intent of getting a track built on the old United Methodist Children’s Home property far sooner than the master plan’s projection.

That master plan, along with changing the property’s name to Legacy Park, gets voted on by city commissioners during their Dec. 3 meeting. The recreational centerpiece for the 77-acre site is a track, but initial forecasts place its construction beginning in 10 to 15 years and cost at around $6 million.

The Coalition, now with roughly 25 members, has a primary goal of identifying funding sources and phasing the project, with the most important elements coming first.

“Our immediate needs are the track itself, and the athletic field in the interior,” said Chairman Michael Harbin. “I know we can meet those for a lot less than $6 million. But we also think the full-blown venue, with the stands, lights, press box, turf if needed, can also come in under $6 million.”

All money raised by the Coalition will go into a non-profit called the Legacy Project started by the city several months ago.

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“That gives us legitimacy,” Harbin said. “It means we’re involved with the city and the school system and we’re not just out there on our own.”

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