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Sports complex in the works for another central Indiana community

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BARGERSVILLE, Ind. - Cornfields in Johnson County could soon become home to eight new baseball and softball diamonds.
Bargersville is the latest community primed for a sports park, one with a $7 million dollar price tag.
Sports facilities have been getting a lot of buzz across central Indiana, both good and bad. Earlier this year, Westfield held a grand opening for their Grand Park, which cost $45 million. Another development in Greenwood, a multi-million dollar sports complex and hotel got put on hold.But those behind the Bargersville deal are hopeful they will break ground in 2015.

There's the hitting, and there's the coaching. Ryan Richardson loves it all.

"We have seven travel teams of our own, baseball, and we really struggle to find practice space," said Ryan Richardson, owner of MVP Baseball and Softball Academy.

The struggle could change soon if plans by Richardson and a developer come through. A cornfield, 46 acres off State Road 135, is in line to become a massive sports park, one targeted toward baseball and softball, complete with a 50,000 square foot indoor facility to start.

"It'll be big enough to have a full infield inside to have practices and still have batting and still have batting cages and pitching tunnels and stuff like that," said Richardson.

Richardson said Indianapolis' south side needs a large complex. North of the city there's Grand Park in Westfield, and though the proposed facility is much smaller, he said it will still get the job done.

"Once we get to the eight fields, there will not be much room left," said Richardson.

Problem is, the site backs up to a neighborhood, a senior community. Residents there had concerns.

"Some of the worries, I think, primarily was traffic, the increased traffic here in the community and perhaps lighting, noise, that might be coming from the sports complex," said Ed Norris, with the Summer Gardens Homeowners Association.

Norris said the worries are settled though. Developers agreed to put up some dirt that would block noise and be considerate. The alternative to the complex, he said, would be worse, the potential of apartments.

"I think the feeling from most of us in our community is that we're happy this is going in instead of apartments going in which could've caused more problems," he said.

"We've told them we will do our best to be a friendly neighbor," said Richardson, "Our goal is to be ready for the 2016 baseball and softball season."

Richardson said they are still lining up some investors.

And developers still must get the approval from Bargersville's zoning board along with any necessary permits.