Field Work

This rendering shows upgrades that are planned for the Yankton Youth Soccer Association’s (YYSA) Lewis & Clark Soccer Complex. Tree removal for the first phase is set to begin in May.

Two years ago, the Yankton Youth Soccer Association (YYSA) was assured of keeping the space it occupies for the better part of the remainder of the 21st Century.

In the coming weeks, the group will start work on utilizing that space to its fullest.

According to a press release from the YYSA, the YYSA and City of Yankton are collaborating on a project, along with the help of the National Guard to upgrade the Lewis & Clark Soccer Complex over the next couple of years.

Lucas Johnson, YYSA board member and Lewis & Clark Soccer Complex Committee member, told the Press & Dakotan that people will see a lot of work starting in the coming weeks.

“Phase One involves the expansion of the complex itself and adding two more fields to the complex, shifting one of the fields to the north to make room for a concession stand that will be part of Phase Two,” he said. “It’s also going to involved quite a bit of tree removal. There’s quite a few trees out here that we’ll have to take down to make room for the additional soccer fields.”

Additionally, grading, parking expansion and a new well house will be included in the first phase. Renderings of the complex upgrades show a number of trees added in other areas.

Johnson said that they’ll be getting plenty of help with the upcoming work.

“We have the National Guard coming in,” he said. “Next weekend, they’re going to start removing trees and they’re coming for their two-week training session that they do every year to do the field grading.”

The first phase of work is scheduled to be done in June.

Johnson said the Guard will be back in 2022 when it will be building the concession stand as part of Phase Two, which will also include the development of two more fields and irrigation work.

Johnson said that the improvements will help give the complex an important commodity — more space for users and visitors.

“I’ve been out here the last couple of weeks with rec soccer underway,” he said. “We’re growing a lot and we’re a bit strapped for space right now. You’ll see teams wandering around with their coaches looking for open space to practice and they don’t necessarily have that ability. As the sport continues to grow in Yankton, we will have additional space for teams to spread out and adequately train.”

According to Sondra Jensen of the Lewis & Clark Soccer Complex Committee, the YYSA will be looking at fundraising in the near future, but design work is still in progress.

“The fundraising goal hasn’t been set as of yet,” she told the Press & Dakotan. “The first phase we’re working on here is just trying to get the plan developed and things kicked off. We’re working with Stockwell Engineers and (they’re) doing some cost estimates for us, and then we’ll have a good idea of what our fundraising goal will be. At this point, they don’t have final numbers yet.”

She was unsure of when fundraising work will start, but said it’s a joy to be moving forward on upgrade projects.

“We’re extremely excited about it,” she said. “We’ve worked incredibly hard in collaboration with the city on the HSC property and the National Guard to come up with a real beautiful solution out there,” she said. “It’s going to be a beautiful facility for the community, and we’ve waited a long time for it.”

During its meeting earlier this week, the Yankton City Commission voted unanimously to contribute $15,000 towards design work on the complex’s upgrades.

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