“Where the Sky is the Limit”
Six years ago a group of community leaders and the City of Acworth Parks and Recreation Department began raising funds to build a baseball field for children with special needs. The original plan was to purchase a piece of property and build the field. After further consideration and consultation with experts in the field of special needs the group determined that the facility had to be integrated into an existing recreation facility.
Inclusion was the key. Therefore the group determined that the Acworth Sports Complex would be the best location. The complex already had five baseball fields, and the special needs field would make the sixth. The kids could then play next to their brothers, sisters, neighbors and classmates. The City of Acworth dedicated one of the remaining three spaces for new fields as the location for the special needs field.
The first special needs sports program was a one game exhibition held six years ago. Over sixty children of special need signed up for the game in just three weeks. The following summer the first full-fledged summer league was held. Six teams with over sixty children took the field in the first season. The most recent season finished up in May of 2012 with fourteen teams and over 200 kids participating.
The fundraising goal to begin construction was $1.2 million. With private, civic and public contributions the goal was realized in May of 2008 and construction on the facility began. The initial construction project scope included the field and an accommodating concession and bathroom facility. The field will have a synthetic rubber surface with all bases and dugouts flush with the playing surface to accommodate children in wheelchairs and walkers. The concession facility will feature lower counter tops, air conditioning, additional handicapped stalls, and a family restroom. The family restroom will be a much needed feature that will allow parents of opposite sexes to take their child into a restroom and assist as needed. The door will also have an automatic opening feature to support the needs of the physically disabled.