CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Commission will soon begin accepting bids for the new Shawnee Park multi-sports complex in Dunbar.

The commission officially approved the $15 million project at a Tuesday meeting followed by a public hearing in Charleston.

Plans to move the project forward were on hold pending results of an environmental study. The test resulted were released Tuesday.

The testing became necessary after West Virginia State University reported underground water contamination on campus from the Dow Chemical plant. Shawnee Park sits right beside the campus.

Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango said the study, conducted by S&S Engineering, resulted in zero health risks to the public.

“The engineer gave his recommendation today that we move forward and that it is safe to use that facility, that land for recreational purposes as it has been used for many, many years,” he said.

The park will be transformed into a new multi-sports complex capable of hosting local and regional youth sports tournaments.

Several turf and grass fields for soccer/lacrosse and baseball/softball will be constructed. The park’s golf course will be closed as a result.

The commission is now looking to hire a contractor. Bids will be accepted in within the next month.

“We have to accept bids for lighting, drainage and various things to build the project, so we’ll do that hopefully this month,” Salango said.

Commissioners hope to break ground on the project in November.

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