NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A plan billed as “win-win” for Belmont University and the Edgehill community has taken a step forward. But not everyone is convinced the expansion of baseball facilities at a metro park is a good idea.
The agreement would be to have the facility on a portion of Rose Park Middle School right near Belmont’s other sports facilities.
Belmont wants to build an indoor batting and locker/training facility. According to a bill that passed second reading at Tuesday’s Metro Council meeting, the project would be solely at Belmont’s expense.
You can view the bill here.
Metro Nashville Public Schools is also part of the discussion with Belmont officials saying students and kids in the community would be able to use the facilities as well. An hour’s worth of speakers addressed Metro Council during a public hearing Tuesday night with many for and against the plans.
One of those speakers was former Tennessee Titans player Marc Mariani who has used the park and said he knows the benefits of facilities like the one being proposed.
“I am from a small town in Montana and I’ve played sports my entire life. including at the highest level for the Tennessee Titans. I didn’t have anything like this growing up and not many young athletes have the opportunity to practice and play at a state of the art facility like the one proposed,” said Mariani.
“This will give young kids access to a place that will inspire them and motivate them to work hard and strive for greatness.”
However, some residents felt the facility was not a good idea.
“Nashville is watching and I want to remind the Metro Council members that are going to be up for re-election on this vote that has to do with our public land. This is our public property and selling it off to a private Christian college that uses discriminatory hiring practices is frankly wrong,” said resident Jacob Huff.
Belmont officials released a statement to News 2 after the vote.”We are grateful for the support of the community, the Metro School Board, and the Metro Council. We look forward to approval by the council on third reading and a productive, meaningful and impactful partnership with MNPS.”
The project still needs a third reading before final approval.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.