Upgrades underway at A.J. Holloway Sports Complex

Some much-needed improvements are taking place at the A.J. Holloway Sports Complex.

Visitors to the 68-acre complex located at 765 Wells Drive can see contractors clearing areas to make way for more parking. But that is only one part of the massive 270-day project.

Contractors with J.E. Talley Construction, Inc. have been awarded the $5.16 million contract job that includes adding artificial turf and sod to the baseball and softball fields, regrading the soccer and football fields, upgrading the drainage and irrigation in the baseball fields, and expanding, paving, and striping the park areas.  

“We have seen an increased participation in youth sports over the last few years,” said Jamie Lee, Parks & Recreation assistant director. “And we have also seen an increase in teams not being able to play because of drainage issues. So, we felt now was the time to tackle this massive project.”

This is also the time for youth football and cheerleading to take place. The games are usually played at the complex and Lee says they will continue.

“The contractors and the Parks & Recreation Department are working together to allow play during the improvement project,” Lee said. “Work will first begin on the ballfields so that the football and cheering leagues will be able to hold their season at the complex over on the west side fields.”

The project, funded by the general obligation bonds, is made of up several phases that will overlap at times but the city is working to lessen the disruption.

According to the city’s engineering department, which oversees the contractors, the baseball and softball fields are required to be finished by the end of February and work cannot begin on the soccer and football fields until after the first of January.

Added Lee: “There may be a little inconvenience at times but overall, this will allow for more playability for our city leagues, opening up more options and fewer rainouts.”  

The A.J. Holloway Sports Complex opened in 2003 and is the city’s headquarters for Biloxi youth sports. It is used by hundreds of athletes each year participating in football, soccer, softball, baseball, and cheerleading.