With Wednesday’s approval of a design contract, the McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission took another step in its mission to create a new sports complex.

The contract, awarded to Paducah’s Peck Flannery Gream Warren (PFGW), is worth $231,000 and should result in a master plan for the project in roughly six months.

“This is an exciting contract for our community, and we’re excited to be a part of it as a part of this community,” said Jeff Canter, a vice president and architect with the local firm. “We have a pretty good leg up already.

“Now that we’ve got official approval to move forward, we’ll really jump in and get moving quickly.”

The contract has three main tasks outlined in it: 1) research and analysis of potential sites for the complex, 2) a schematic design phase and 3) the creation of a master plan. The first and second tasks, Canter estimated, should take around eight weeks and the master plan phase will take about six.

Commission chair Jim Dudley confirmed that four sites identified by the commission will be studied by PFGW in the coming weeks. Canter’s firm also will be creating a fifth “ideal” site to measure these four candidate sites against.

“I feel really good about where we are as a commission,” Dudley told the Sun. “... We have a lot of momentum moving forward with this project and we are really excited to see sports tourism really thrive in Paducah.”

Amenities at this sports complex have yet to be determined, though the committee has been considering facilities for soccer and baseball/softball, particularly.

PFGW will be working with multiple consulting agencies through the course of this project — Bacon Farmer Workman Engineering locally, Hitchcock Design Group out of Illinois and Pros Consulting from Indiana.

None of the potential sites for the complex could be publicly identified at this time.

A presentation regarding the project and its progress is expected to be given to members of the McCracken County Fiscal Court on May 27.

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