Spirit of the Sportsplex opening still with us

Published 9:35 pm Thursday, July 5, 2018

Amajor happening for the City of Valley took place 22 years ago on Wednesday. The Valley Sportsplex was dedicated, and Alabama Gov. Fob James was here to serve as the keynote speaker for the dedication ceremony. The governor talked about growing up in the local area and how much fun the summers were back then. They were filled with “baseball, baseball, baseball, going crappie fishing on the river and slipping up the LaGrange Highway to get fireworks.”

Back on July 4, 1996, a fun day with lots of activities was capped off by a gigantic fireworks show. A lot has happened since then, and the area around the Sportsplex has seen some amazing growth. The Community Center was dedicated six years later, in 2002. Some nice apartment complexes – The River, The Vistas and The Verandas – have come about, as has Sunny’s Restaurant, a branch of Capital City Bank, Milano’s, Zaxby’s and so on. Right next to this growth center is an 1,100-acre industrial park. What happened with the Sportsplex dedication 22 years ago has grown into bigger and better things in the years that followed. We should all look forward to the new growth that will be taking place in this booming area off Exit 77 on I-85.

The biggest need, in my opinion, are jobs that pay good wages. This will keep our young people home and attract new people to the community.

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I’m grateful the City of Valley continues the Sportsplex spirit with having a fireworks show every July 4th. There’s something special about the Valley. It’s not just the place we know and love, there’s the resiliency of Strength Woven In. The community didn’t die with the loss of WestPoint Home. It has been transforming into something new. I like our chances for future growth. The I-85 corridor between Atlanta and Montgomery is one of the hottest sites anywhere in the South.

There are few places just off the Interstate with the kind of land that’s available in Valley. Just across the Interstate in Lanett, there’s a major airport improvement project under way. By early 2019, there will be a 4,400-foot runway capable of landing private jets.

West Point has something good going with Kia, Point University and a thriving downtown area. Exit 2 is going to be a pretty lively area in the near future when several new businesses, including a Love’s Travel Plaza, opens.

The best thing about an event in the Valley is that you get to meet people you’ve known for a long time and think highly of, people like Charles and Beverly Story, Bobby and Marianne Elliott, Pastor Matthew and the Thrower clan, Kelly and the Meecham crew. It always make any day go better to see smiling faces and to receive warm greetings.