City Approves Lease to McPherson College for Development of "Bulldog Park"

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
November 28, 2016

A new Bulldog Park has been approved for development in McPherson.

City commissioners Monday approved an agreement with McPherson College to lease land for the development of a new athletic facility just east of town near the McPherson Dog Park.

“This is the property we’ve been talking, for quite some time now, about leasing to McPherson College for their use to create a baseball and softball complex there for the college,” said Nick Gregory, McPherson’s City Administrator.

The lease is initially good for a 25-year term with an option to renew for an additional ten years after that. There’s also a buyout purchase option built-in.

“Basically, once they’ve done substantial completion there, they have an option to go ahead and purchase the property …. for its unimproved value of the land,” Gregory explained.

Gregory also said that this agreement with McPherson College will allow the city to work with the college on the placement of the walking path that will be constructed in that area along Centennial Drive.

“It leaves some availability for us to put our walking path,” he said, “[And] that we can mutually agree upon the location where that walking path will be as part of the Second Phase of the Avenue A Sidewalk Project.”

Marty Sigwing, Director of Facilities at McPherson College, elaborated on some of what will be involved in the initial stages of preparing the land for the new Athletic Facility.

“The first phase will be dirt work,” Sigwing said. “Getting electricity, possibly water to the site; getting a ball field chalked out; possibly some aluminum stands.

“Right now, for restrooms, there’ll be port-a-potties to get the teams up and running,” he continued. “The subsequent phases after that will be dependent upon our funding -- fundraising that we can do.”

The ultimate plan is that, with good fundraising, the final result will be a permanent baseball and softball athletic facility, as Sigwing explained,

“We want a permanent facility with poured slab, permanent structures, permanent utilities to it, permanent parking, security lighting, full lighting on the field, security fencing….

“When substantial completion happens, we do plan on having a complete softball and baseball facility.”

City commissioners unanimously approved the new lease for the new site, which will appropriately be known as Bulldog Park.