It’s taken a long time but the Flint Hills Athletic Complex finally has people playing on it. Soccer and lacrosse teams started playing at the new facility in recent weeks.


The city will hold a ribbon cutting for the facility, which is located on the corner of Akron Avenue and Bonaire Path, at 10 a.m. Sept. 20.


Parks and recreation director Dan Schultz said the fields will be a valuable addition to the city’s athletic facilities. Specifically, soccer and lacrosse programs, which have both experienced growth in recent years, need the additional field space.


Athletic fields of all types are needed in Rosemount. As the community continues to grow, so do the youth athletic programs. In an article about the project last year, Schultz told the Independent Town Pages the city is trying to keep up with the demand.


“Participation continues to grow. Field space is at a premium. Our facilities are at capacity,” said Schultz.


The opening of the new fields should lessen some of that burden.


“We’re excited to have it open,” said Schultz.


The new fields are located on a 57-acre property that Flint Hills Resources donated to the city for athletic fields in 2007.


In 2008, voters turned down a referendum that would have paid for a full athletic complex on the site as well as renovations to the Steeple Center. For a number of years the land sat empty.


In 2013, Dakota Aggregates provided the city a $280,000 in-kind donation of site work. Additionally, Flint Hills donated 90 tons of oil for the construction of the parking lot and trails around the facility. That donation was estimated at $57,000.


Schultz said the two donations made it possible for the city to move forward with the first phase of the two part project. The first phase includes three green fields, trails and a paved parking lot.


Plans for a second phase including four more green fields and a restroom/ concession facility have been drawn but Schultz said the city council hasn’t put the second phase on its priority list. He said the council will consider the project as need arises and funds become available.