New softball complex is coming to Haltom City

A $1.1 million renovation is underway in Little Fossil Park that will create the city’s first tournament-quality girls softball complex.

When it’s finished, the 10-acre complex will have three new fields with lights, 80 parking spaces, a concession building, restrooms and playground.

“The city hopes that the new complex will increase interest in our girls’ softball program, increase visitors and bring their money to Haltom City during tournaments,” Parks and Recreation Director Tom Henry said.

The complex should be on a par with softball parks in neighboring cities, Henry said.

Keller Sports Park, for instance, has four lighted fast-pitch softball fields in the 140 acres it shares with other sports venues.

North Richland Hills is a softball haven. It has an award-winning lighted four-field softball complex surrounding a large central pavilion in the 57-acre Walker’s Creek Park. That’s the home of the North Richland Girls Softball League and has hosted several local, regional and state tournaments.

The city also has a three-field lighted complex with a concession stand in the 58.5-acre Fossil Creek Park. The adult softball program is based at the 20-acre Northfield Park.

Softball is a great sport for participants of all ages that promotes physical activity, teamwork and leadership skills, said Tina Earle, Parks and Rec events manager for North Richland Hills. She added that there are plenty of players to fill the schedules of Haltom City’s fields.

“More quality softball facilities in our area will only to help promote this sport,” she said. “One of the missions of parks and recreation departments all across our state and region is [to] combat childhood obesity, and softball is certainly a sport that promotes health and wellness and an active lifestyle for our youth.”

Keller Parks and Recreation Director Dona Kinney agreed.

“The Keller Sports Park’s fields are heavily used and have been for several years as the region has developed,” she said. “With the growing youth population in the area, additional softball fields would be an asset.”

Little Fossil Park will be closed during the renovation. A swing set is the only original equipment that will return when the dust has settled, Henry said.

Haltom City has nine other parks, and many of those salvaged pieces will be used elsewhere in the system, Henry said.

Little Fossil Park is just south of Broadway Avenue, at 4412 Hadley St. The project, funded with bonds approved in a 2010 election, could be completed by Nov. 22, Henry said.

“City forces may continue to work on amenities outside of the contract scope over the winter,” he said. “The fields will be ready before the start of the girls softball season in March 2014.”