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Complex hosts ribbon cutting

Board members from Concordia Recreation District 3 were on hand for a special ribbon cutting at the new recreation complex in Vidalia on Friday afternoon. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Board members from Concordia Recreation District 3 were on hand for a special ribbon cutting at the new recreation complex in Vidalia on Friday afternoon. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — The accumulation of nearly eight years of work was summed up in one simple sound Friday evening: snip, snip.

Members of the Concordia Recreation District 3 Board hosted their official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new recreation complex. Board President Marc Archer said he was happy to finally recognize the hard work of everyone on the board in getting the new complex up and running.

“It’s a big day,” Archer said. “We’ve been working on this about seven and a half to eight years, from the time it was a thought to making it a reality.”

Former board secretary Lula Caldwell was also on-hand for the ribbon cutting, and though she’s no longer on the board, she said she was more than happy to help commemorate the opening of the complex.

“It’s a really special day for me,” Caldwell said. “I retired a year ago, but I’m still a consultant, so I feel like I’m still a part of it.”

Caldwell said the old ball fields behind Vidalia Lower Elementary School were nice, but because of the number of children involved in youth sports, more fields were needed.

“We were getting crowded out,” she said.

Greg Young, who heads the Vidalia Girls Softball League, said the complex was something he never thought would become a reality.

“We’re excited to have something that we paid for ourselves,” Young said. “The recreation board made it happen — without them, it wouldn’t have happened.”

As head of the local Little League softball league, Young said children will benefit heavily from having new facilities.

“Every team is at capacity,” Young said of his league. “We could have taken more kids if we had more coaches, and we have a waiting list.”

Archer said the children are ultimately the ones who benefit the most, even if they don’t realize it at first.

“I don’t think the kids will realize how important it is until they look back 20 years down the road,” Archer said. “But I think the community understands how important this is.”

Young said he’s currently in negotiation to get Concordia Parish to host a Little League regional tournament — which is one step below the World Series — July 25-31.