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Take a peek at plans for new Gainesville sports complex, The Coop
The Coop rendering
A rendering shows the layout for the J. Melvin Cooper Youth Sports Complex in Gainesville.

Gainesville residents can get a better idea of what to expect from The Coop, a planned sports complex, after a new rendering was presented this week.

The layout of the 89-acre J. Melvin Cooper Youth Sports Complex was presented Thursday, April 14, by Parks and Recreation Director Kate Mattison. 

The facility, which will be located at 2490 Old Cornelia Highway, will have five ballfields and one multi-purpose field for sports like soccer and football.

Plans also show two concession stands, three fan seating areas near the ballfields, a 0.8-mile trail around the fields and 276 parking spaces. 

The complex will be named after Melvin Cooper, Gainesville’s longtime parks director, who spent 47 years with the city and retired in 2019.  

About $13 million in voter-approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax dollars has been set aside for the project, and it is estimated to cost between $17 million to $20 million. Mattison said the city is still waiting to receive bids, and the cost is fluid because of larger economic factors including rising construction costs, labor shortages and supply chain issues. 

“We’ll be looking at early summer for a groundbreaking,” Mattison said.