Goodman Manufacturing Company, L.P., long a cornerstone industry in the community here, has finalized a donation of vacant land destined to become a new city soccer complex.
Officials gathered at the plant Friday morning as the deed to the property, 14 acres, was presented to the City of Fayetteville. The gift honors the company’s Fayetteville employees for their years of service building Goodman and Amana brand heating and air conditioning products, said Joe Campbell, vice president manufacturing.
“We have a long, proud history at this site, and we wanted to find a way to recognize all the hard work and dedication of our employees, both past and current,” Campbell said. “To honor our employees in a lasting contribution to the community, we are donating 14 acres of land next to the range building to the City of Fayetteville to convert to soccer fields for the community.”
The gift enables the City of Fayetteville to leverage the $500,000 value of the land as a required local match to receive a $500,000 Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant awarded by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). The grant will enable the city to transform the vacant property next to Goodman’s radar range building on Wilson Parkway into a vibrant soccer complex.
“This is a way to honor and thank our employees for their years of outstanding service building high-quality indoor comfort products,” he said. “We applaud the City of Fayetteville for working with us to help create something the entire community can enjoy.”
Campbell asked several employees with high seniority to come forward and take part in the presentation of the deed. They included William Luttrell, who has been with the company 50 years; Murel Tucker, 50 years; Dane Jean, 50 years; James Sumners, Jr., 49 years; Willie King, 47 years; Freddie Price, 46 years; Mack Parks, 46 years; and Mickie Higgins, 43 years.
The city has long recognized the need for soccer fields, said Fayetteville Mayor Michael Whisenant. Plans for the complex feature lighted soccer fields, sidewalks, a gravel parking area, fencing, bleachers and signage.
“First of all, we want to thank all of the employees of Amana for being a part of this presentation,” the mayor said, noting how the effort got its start and thanking Goodman as well as other city leaders for their work and support. “This project could not be done without this donation. One of our aldermen, Rachael Martinez, is a part of the AYSO Soccer group that helped build to this level of 125 kids in our community who participate in this program.
Together, the land donation and state grant make for a $1 million investment not only in local recreation, but also in the local economy, as the city envisions a facility that can draw soccer tournaments and tourism dollars from visiting teams.
Transforming the land into a soccer complex will begin soon, with completion expected in the spring of 2020, said the mayor.