New plans for Sunny Brook

Four local groups are working together to try and convert an old MSU golf course into a park to serve both the community and university. Those supporting development of the Sunny Brook Recreation Center say it would address the recreation deficiencies of the region.

A forum was held in Morehead on Sept. 20 to allow members of the community to ask questions and give feedback on the proposed recreation center. More than 150 people were in attendance, including President Wayne Andrews, Rowan County Judge Executive Jim Nickell, Morehead Mayor David Perkins, and Rowan County Schools Superintendent Marvin Moore.

A website was launched a week after the forum to give citizens a chance to continue feedback on the plan. Andrews said community feedback would be an important component in the finalization of the Sunny Brook Recreation Center.

Sunny Brook Golf Course, which is owned by the university, was closed in 2007 after MSU acquired Eagle Trace Golf Course. Since then, the university has collaborated with Rowan County, the city of Morehead, and the Rowan County School Board to develop a joint multipurpose-community-recreation park on the Sunny Brook land.

The four agencies are working with Carman, a landscape and architectural firm based in Lexington, which MSU has worked with in the past.

The initial plan would utilize 60 of the original 155 acres to create the Sunny Brook Recreation Center, which would be designed to meet the needs of both the community and MSU.

The community recreation portion of the proposed park is expected to consist of a swimming pool, youth baseball and softball fields, two multipurpose fields, tennis courts, an indoor multi-sport practice facility, walking and hiking trails, picnic shelters, and a bicycle trail connecting the park to the city.

The MSU side of the park would have intercollegiate baseball and softball fields, along with a practice field to be used by both teams. These new fields would replace the current baseball and softball facilities located on the MSU campus.

The Sunny Brook Recreation Center might take up to five years to complete, Andrews said. There have been no cost projections for the project and no grant applications have been filed to date.

Andrews said he and community representatives, want to get the community behind the whole plan before beginning grant applications and seeking other means of funding.

Andrews said he might try to push the university to start its side of the project first.

“We may go out and try to do some fundraising to build a baseball and softball field to kind of get the process started,” Andrews said.

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