MARYVILLE, Mo. — Recently, concerns have been raised by some in the community about the location of the outdoor paintball park on property owned by the Maryville R-II school district east of the high school football field.
Although the paintball recreation business is in full compliance with city ordinances and has support of nearby businesses, there were still some in the community with questions, and owners of The Fields spoke to The Forum to explain their plans.
Some of the concerns brought to the attention of The Fields owners David Baker and Chelsey Clark are as follows: Safety of area residents and businesses, and noise and lighting. Some of the other confusion came from the exact location for the recreational business.
The outdoor paintball park is situated on Maryville R-II school district property between the walking trail east of the high school football stadium to the rear section of the property occupied by The Hangar and Sutherlands. It also extends toward the Crestview neighborhood boundary.
“What this taught us is that we are not doing a very good job of educating the public on some of these logical questions,” Baker said. “When you have been doing something for 10 years there are some things that you take for granted that (people know). However, we were so focused on getting (the park) built that it was shortsighted of us to not step back for a second and say ‘Hey, there aren’t a lot of people who are as exposed to this industry as we are and don’t know how paintball works.’ So we need to take some remedial steps to educate the public.”
Baker and Clark have the support of the school district as the board of education is leasing them the land for the purpose of creating a paintball park. The owners also have letters of support from Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville.
In regard to specific concerns, especially safety of people and property, Clark stated that they are properly addressing those issues to the point where it will not be an issue at all as their insurance has certain requirements as does the paintball industry. Clark stated the paintball park will have a 12-foot tall, specifically designed netting that will cover areas of the park to protect those participating, spectators and those who are along the walking trail as well as the residential homes.
“It is very specifically made for the sport of paintball — that netting has been tested and it won’t allow any paintballs or fragments to get through it,” she said. “So not only will we have that natural buffer of trees and shrubs that we are going to leave in place, but also that paintball netting.”
As to noise concerns, Clark said that the technology developed through the years has greatly lowered the sound generated by the items used to play paintball and will be below the 60 decibel level, which is required by city ordinance. In regard to lighting, Baker said the only lighting — which will be of the street light variety — will be in the parking area and the customer waiting section of the property and located at the eastern portion of the complex.
Although there are not currently set hours of operation, The Fields plans on being open from approximately 10 a.m. to sunset.
Baker and Clark encourage the public to reach out to them via their website www.fieldspaintball.com if they have any other questions or concerns.