On Wednesday, dozens gathered at the Walton Sports Complex in Santa Rosa Beach for a ribbon cutting ceremony. The park cost roughly $10 million and is located behind Dune Lakes Elementary School.

SANTA ROSA BEACH — After roughly four years of preparation, the Walton Sports Complex is open.


On Wednesday, dozens gathered at the facility located behind Dune Lakes Elementary School for a ribbon cutting ceremony. The area boasts three multipurpose fields, three baseball fields, a playground, press box, concession stand and restroom.


"South Walton has really been struggling with the ability to find property to build these types of facilities," county spokesman Louis Svehla said. "This pretty much doubled and in some areas tripled our inventory of available fields."


He added that it cost about $10 million to buy the land, pave the roads and build the complex.


"We basically financed this through a loan that we already had open, that we had paid down to the point where the available credit was there," Svehla said.



For Commissioner Bill Chapman, whose district includes the area, the complex is a "major asset to this county."


After announcing during a past commission meeting that he isn’t planning to run for reelection, Chapman added that it was a nice sendoff to see the park come to fruition.


"The thing I was wanting to try and accomplish before I got off of the board is to try and finish this park here, the Grady Brown Park and some other things that (are) going on throughout the county," he said. "No person ... is going to be able to stay on (the board) long enough to complete everything on their table."


Looking ahead, officials plan to eventually expand the complex, adding tennis and pickleball courts, a walking trail and special-needs playground.


"There’s a lot of room out here at the present time for the kids to get out here and have a good time," Chapman said.