ELKO — Newmont Mining Corp. established itself as a player in support of the Elko Sports Complex by delivering a donation of $100,000 this week.
“We were pleased to support the community with this sports complex,” said Jaymie Donovan, Newmont external relations representative. “It aligns well with our value of sustainability, and we’re excited to see that there is going to be a venue in Elko that supports recreation and wellness for our youth and their families.”
Plans for the $8.9 million Elko Sports Complex project feature three baseball/softball fields that can accommodate soccer and football to be constructed in Phase I.
“We really want to focus on Elko as a sports destination,” said James Wiley, Parks and Recreation director.
The complex will be built on part of an 80-acre city-owned property lined by Bullion Road on the south side of the Humboldt River west of Errecart Boulevard. The project includes wetland mitigation, and a future phase could incorporate the nearby geothermal activity at Hot Hole as a history tourism attraction.
“It brings a lot of different aspects to the city,” said Elko Mayor Chris Johnson, describing how the complex will fill a need for sports fields and is expected to attract regional players. “It goes along the same strategy of getting people to Elko, increasing the room tax and stimulating the local economy.”
The city put the project out for bid Dec. 15, will open bids Jan. 29 and could declare the award in mid-February. On that schedule, construction would start in spring 2018, and the first athletes might play on the fields in 2020.
“I think the community has been behind this project for decades, and it’s nice to see its realization now,” Wiley said. “Certainly without private donations like Newmont’s that we got today, the project wouldn’t be feasible.”
Barrick Gold Corp. also made a donation to the city toward the complex, and companies or individuals can contribute through the Elko Parks Foundation.
During the check presentation at Elko City Hall, City Councilman Reece Keener thanked the mining company for its support.
“It’s really terrific to get this community support from Newmont,” he said. “The important thing about getting private donations like this is that it really enables the grant funding to be leveraged.”