CHAMPAIGN — Look for a soccer field to be developed this summer on land south of Human Kinetics in Champaign.
Company CEO Brian Holding said Human Kinetics, at 1607 N. Market St., has agreed to let the Champaign Park District use the land the next five years for recreational purposes.
Human Kinetics will furnish money for soccer nets and provide some maintenance for the grounds, he said.
At one time, Human Kinetics had considered expanding south onto the property — once the site of the Garwood Home, a retirement home. But Holding said those plans have been postponed.
Most of the company's immediate expansion needs were resolved last year by adding onto the building's northeast side and creating a $1.2 million technology center there.
That center has about 30 workstations, and the servers there enable 10 Human Kinetics websites, 27 journal websites and 28 websites for partner organizations.
Holding said the number of children living in the Shadowwood Mobile Home Park — just across Market Street from Human Kinetics — has grown, and some kids were using the fields south of Human Kinetics as a place to play.
The Champaign Park District board approved an agreement with Human Kinetics in May for use of the land.
Bobbie Herakovich, the park district's executive director, said the district wanted to meet the recreational needs of the Hispanic population in Shadowwood and respond to growing community interest in soccer.
Joe DeLuce, director of recreation for the park district, said the district plans to put a soccer field on the southernmost part of the property and see if it proves popular with people in the neighborhood. The soccer nets will likely be installed late this summer, DeLuce said.
The field will be first-come, first-served and available for use by both adults and children, Herakovich said.
It will be open from 6 a.m. to dusk seven days a week, and the district hopes to arrange with the city for a Market Street crosswalk, she added.
Herakovich said the project is a pilot, and the park district would need a longer-term lease before developing the land further.
A name for the recreational area hasn't been determined, but it is expected to include the Human Kinetics name, DeLuce said.
Holding said making the land available is part of "an ongoing commitment by Human Kinetics to this neighborhood."