Evesham Township, already the most populous township in Burlington County with 45,538 residents, is also one of New Jersey's most rapidly growing communities. Located along the southeastern edge of Burlington County, Evesham has grown 29% in population between the 1990 and 2010 censuses, far outstripping the rate of growth in the surrounding region.
Recognizing the community value of a facility dedicated to the escalating youth baseball and softball organizations within the Township, Mayor Randy Brown and the Township Council pursued the construction of such a facility on the Johnston Tract, a large Township-owned open space area adjacent to the municipal building. In December 2012, planning for the construction of this recreational complex commenced. The overall project would consist of four (4) baseball/softball fields, two buildings (a concession/restroom combo, and a separate restroom building), batting cages, and additional parking for the field and municipal building. Ultimate future improvements also included drainage and stormwater management improvements, lighting of the fields, and pathways surrounding the entirety of the 7 acre complex.
In order to develop a plan to construct this facility, consulting engineer Gregory R. Valesi, PE of CME Associates was commissioned by the Mayor and Council to develop construction plans and submit for the various required permits.
CME Associates met the challenge head on by devising a cloverleaf field orientation, with the concession building as its center that fit the proposed improvements and stormwater management areas within the confines of the site. CME worked closely with Pinelands officials to ensure the Township's full vision for the complex could be constructed within the stringent guidelines posed by Pinelands regulations.
Adjacent to the wooded areas to be preserved on the site, a nature trail that looped around the complex was proposed. This trail allows all Township residents, rather than simply those playing baseball, a means of enjoying the newly developed open space recreation area. Additionally, a tot lot and playground area are expected to be provided after construction is completed, furthering the Center's potential benefit to the community's residents.