By Megan Alley
The New Richmond Soccer Association has extended its lease of the Beckjord Fields in New Richmond through February 2019.
Serving the New Richmond Exempted Village School District, the NRSA is a nonprofit organization that hosts yearly spring and fall recreational seasons, along with camps for aspiring players between four years old and high school age.
The NRSA has called the Beckjord Fields, located at 857 Old State Route 52, home since the mid-1990s.
This past fall, with a February 2018 lease termination looming – Duke Energy is taking the land for the decommissioning of its Beckjord Power Plant – the NRSA signed a contract with the village of Moscow to lease playing fields that are adjacent to the Moscow Rivervalley Community Center, located at 30 Wells St.
The NRSA is working with Utter Construction to prepare the fields for the kids to play on, with improvements that include leveling the ground and growing more grass, but a delay in the construction schedule left association leaders wondering if the fields would be ready in time for the upcoming seasons.
Now, they have a contingency plan in place.
“Utter hasn’t had the chance to level the fields, so we had to try to get an extension on Beckjord,” Dale Younts, NRSA president, said.
Younts found out about the extension on Jan. 9, and so far, member reactions have been positive.
“A lot of people have liked this extension, but it’s one of those things where we’re going to have to move, and a lot of Pierce [Township] residents don’t want to move to Moscow because it’s such a long drive,” Younts said.
While the lease extension gives the NRSA more than a year to prepare for a move, Younts hopes that the construction in Moscow will get underway soon, and that the association can start using the new fields this summer.
The NRSA has been renting the fields from Duke Energy free of charge.
Moscow is leasing its fields to the NRSA for $1 a year.
“Moscow’s been good to us,” Younts said.
While the NRSA is renting the fields to next for nothing, the association is responsible for costs related to the field improvements, which total $60,000. So far, the NRSA has raised half that amount.
They are currently seeking donations from the public.
In another call to action, the NRSA is looking for volunteers to serve on its board of directors.
“We’re always looking for help to keep the league going,” Younts said.
To donate to the NRSA’s field preparation assistance fund, please visit their GoFundMe online campaign page at www.gofundme.com/nrsoccer.
For more information on becoming a board member, those interested are encouraged to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.