Mount Vernon officials gather for final groundbreaking ceremony at Memorial Field
County officials gathered for the final groundbreaking ceremony at Memorial Field in Mount Vernon on Wednesday.
The piece of land will be turned into a NCAA regulation football field, with stands capable of holding 3,900 people.
There also will be an eight-lane track skateboard park, tennis courts, locker rooms and bathrooms.
Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard acknowledged the long road it took to get to this point.
"Memorial Field has been the heart and soul of Mount Vernon for a very long time, and when your heart gets broken over and over again, it's hard to trust and believe again and it's hard to believe we can ever move. But that's what we are doing today, we are moving forward together," said Patterson-Howard.
A total of $25 million is being spent to revitalize the park, with the county providing $20 million and the state providing the rest.
County Executive George Latimer says he marched on the field during band in high school and wants to see students be able to do that again.
Board of Legislature chairman Ben Boykin says he's been talking with local leaders for years on how to transform the land where his daughter ran track back in to a useable space.
The recreational center is expected to be completed by fall of 2021.
Officials say cranes and shovels will start to fill the land next week.