PCAA seeks Pineville’s support, funding

The Pineville-Ballantyne Community Athletic Association, whose majority of participants live in south Charlotte, recently reached out to leaders in Pineville in hopes of finding funding and support, and possible incorporation into the town’s parks and recreation
department.

After several years of displacement due to construction of the recently opened Pineville Elementary School – former home to five fields utilized and maintained by PCAA – the future of the association is still unclear. PCAA has existed in some capacity for about 25 years in the Pineville area, while the group at times changed boundaries, programming and even
names.

But the association hit a roadblock in 2012 when plans for a new Pineville Elementary School, which was approved in the 2007 Mecklenburg County bond package, finally came to fruition. The new school was to be built in the middle of the organization’s fields – space PCAA had been renting from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for a minimal fee. The PCAA was left without a home, and with nowhere to turn in Pineville, has since worked with Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation and South Charlotte Middle School, now the organization’s temporary home
base.

But it’s time to get back to the roots – that’s the belief of PCAA President Shorty Sanders and other board leaders. Previous plans to replace the fields at Pineville Elementary School are still attainable, but it can’t be done without more financial support, Sanders previously said in an interview with South Charlotte Weekly. Pineville Elementary School’s campus now has room for about three fields. CMS demolished the old school building and completed essential grading work to the land, but it’s up to PCAA to get its fields
back.

“PCAA is facing some tough times with the loss of their fields,” Haynes Brigman, Pineville’s town administrator, said at the Pineville Town Council’s meeting Feb. 11. “Again with them facing the construction costs and the lack of fields, they are seeking partnership with the town to move the organization
forward.”

The town would need to front costs to construct the three baseball fields to begin with, Brigman said. Preliminary estimates were presented at Pineville’s February town council meeting, though town leaders requested more in depth information before any consideration. Additionally, the town could be responsible for maintaining the fields, which could require additional town staff hours for upkeep. The PCAA board president’s seat also would be taken over by town staff, likely Jennifer Honaker, Pineville Parks and Recreation athletic coordinator. Town leaders also expressed hopes of renaming the association, dropping “Ballantyne” from the group’s
title.

The association would still be open to all area students, but would be offered at a discounted rate to Pineville residents in the case of incorporation.

Discussions among Pineville councilmembers at the meeting centered around costs of the partnership versus the amount of Pineville participants, which like PCAA’s participation as a whole has dropped in recent years in part due to a changing home base, Pineville Mayor Jack Edwards said. About 45 Pineville kids were among PCAA’s about 420 participants last year, Edwards added, and students from Charlotte and even some areas of South Carolina make up the majority of participants.

But PCAA leaders hope the partnership would not only provide more stability for the association as a whole, but would bring the spark back for Pineville residents.

“We owe a lot to Pineville, and I want to keep it for these kids,” Sanders said. “For us, it’s all about the kids.”

Town staff will work over the next month to come up with a more indepth proposal, including specific costs on what it would take to prepare fields for the 2015 spring baseball season. The proposal likely will come back before council at the next meeting on March 11, a Tuesday, at The Hut, 200 Dover St. in Pineville.

PCAA kicked off spring registration earlier this month for t-ball, coach pitch and minors and majors baseball.

Parents also can visit www.pcaas ports.org to register online. Athlete evaluations will be held Saturday, March 1, at Jack D. Hughes Memorial Park, 513 Main St. in Pineville

Contact Kari Campbell at registr ation@pcaasports.org with any questions or concerns. Visit the association’s website to learn more about programs PCAA offers.

South Charlotte Middle School is located at 8040 Strawberry Lane in Charlotte.

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