INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Batesville Greenway trail is undergoing expansion. Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Owens said the trail opened in 2010 and since then they have worked to add on to it.
A large portion of the expansions were funded by grants available through the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department as well as the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.
"The rec trails program provides us with 80% of the costs of building the trails," Owens said. "The trails of life through Parks and Tourism also funded section 3 of phase 1 as well."
Right now, they are working on section 1 of phase 2 and have submitted a grant application for section 2 of phase 2.
Owens said the new section is closer to Batesville High School.
"It will connect the neighborhood to the high school and also connect the high school and junior high down to where the trail ends currently," Owens said. "Overall, the trail connects to our municipal swimming pool, the hospital, riverside park and the riverwalk, our municipal golf course then we tie into the high school."
Owens said the trails would give students safe passage from the school to the new community center. He also expects the new section to be complete this spring. Right now, he's waiting for asphalt to be placed over the gravel.
Owens also told Region 8 News the city will have a new recreation and aquatic center.
"It will have 3 basketball courts that can also be configured into 6 volleyball courts, a 1/8 mile indoor running/walking track, a fitness center, a group fitness room, 4 meeting rooms and 2 board rooms in the center itself," Owens said." We have a competition pool, a heated therapy pool and an indoor children's play pool. There's 17,000 square feet of water outside that's zero depth entry, water based playground equipment. It even has a zipline and a lazy river."
Owens said the center is the 1st of its kind for the city. Owens said construction is expected to wrap up by the end of this year.