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Setbacks plague Rose Park

Belmont’s Rose Park sports complex may still open this semester, but the date remains uncertain because of weather-related construction setbacks.

Recent rain – combined with this winter’s record snowfall – has been the major reason behind the delays at the Edgehill park, said Mark Grones of Plant Operations.

According to Grones, contractors anticipate finishing the project by early May. “We have been playing catch up with rain every few days after a couple days of dry [weather]. We cannot drive equipment to prepare the baseball field unless the ground is solid.”

Because of these delays, Belmont’s baseball and softball teams have played their home games at Shelby Park and Tennessee State University, respectively. Between the teams, 26 home games originally scheduled for Rose Park had to relocate.

“It’s something we had no control over,” baseball coach Dave Jarvis said. “Our kids have done great in understanding that.

I want to commend our players and teams on how we’ve dealt with this.”

Delays also have postponed the April 6 community day planned as the official grand opening for the park. The event was to bring together members of the Belmont and Edgehill communities for food, games, music and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Now, officials are trying to contact everyone involved and keep them on standby until a new opening date is announced, said Joyce Searcy, Belmont’s director of community relations.

“We’re going to try to set up an alternative plan,” Searcy said. “It was going to be a big shebang. Everyone was involved.”

The prolonged construction and indefinite opening date add yet another chapter to the situation at Rose Park, where a community lawsuit against Metro Nashville and Belmont delayed groundbreaking from late 2007 until summer 2010. The park, when fully renovated, will be home to five Belmont sports teams.

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