WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Trash, crime scene tape, and broken fencing surround an abandoned industrial site in Waterbury’s south end. But the city’s residents and lawmakers are hoping to turn the site into something new in the new year.
At the corner of East Liberty Street and Mill Street, an old industrial site sits abandoned.
Jose Narvaez, a longtime Waterbury resident, says “growing up in this neighborhood, it was never like this.”
But now, it’s a new year and State Representative Geraldo Reyes predicts “we’re going to have a lot of fun on this field.”
Reyes and Victor Cuevas, Waterbury’s Acting Superintendent of Recreation, are among a group of Waterbury leaders with big plans to turn the lot into a little league hub and sports complex.
“Economically it’s one big package so you can get buy in from all the sponsors, all the local communities here.
This is to me, the most important piece of The Sound End revitalization.”– State Representative Geraldo Reyes
Cuevas grew up in this community and played little league baseball at the lot when it was thriving in the ’70s.
WEB EXTRA: Representative Reyes speaks to News 8 about the importance of the new sports complex to the Waterbury community
He and Reyes help run Waterbury’s Hispanic Coalition, a group instrumental in bringing Puerto Rico’s National Youth Baseball team to play in tournaments every summer in the Greater Waterbury area.
They’ve seen how successful those tournaments are, and are now pitching this plan for the south end to help kids in the area.
The project will cost $3 million; it was in a bonding bill. More than $2 million came from the State under former Governor Malloy. The rest of the money came from the city.
If all goes well, cleanup will happen in 2020, and first pitch will be in the spring of 2021.