AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As 2022 comes to a close, Kids Inc. is still pushing to wrap up its funding campaign to build the new Rockrose Sports Complex.

Jimmy Lackey, the president and CEO of Kids Inc. said on Friday that 11 months after kicking off the capital campaign for phase one of the complex, they were well over halfway to their goal.

“$30 million is a lot of money and we’re extremely pleased with where we are. We’re right at the $18 million mark. That’s 60% of our campaign, when you consider we started at zero on January 25th, when we announced this,” said Lackey.

He noted that the campaign is doing incredibly well, as both WTAMU and Amarillo College have capital campaigns going as well.

“Donors are going to give when they want to give and I’ve got a lot of folks out there said, ‘Jimmy, we’re going to give,’ and I hope we can convince them to get that done sooner than later,” he continued.

“We still have several foundation grants out that we know will come in, and we’ll get answers to them in February and March. So there’s still a lot of big, big gifts out there but these small gifts that we’ve been getting here of late, they’re adding up. And so there’s no gift too small. Don’t think that your gift doesn’t count because everything adds up to this to this goal of 30 million.”

Lackey said their goal is to wrap up phase one funding by June 1, 2023.

“If we could turn this over to the contractors in the summer, let them get going, it’s about a six to eight months construction project. We could get that thing up and running by 2024 and have these kids out there doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Phase one would include outdoor fields for soccer, flag football, softball, volleyball, and even tracks. Lackey said it would also include a baseball field for the Amarillo College team to practice.

Lackey said Kids Inc. will not break ground on phase one until they have the $30 million in hand.

“We don’t carry debt. I don’t need any interest payments. I don’t need any additional mortgage. I want to be able to pay cash for this as we pay the contractors and so that’s something that’s really important to Kids Inc.”

He said because the project is privately funded, there is no cost to taxpayers and the city will benefit as tournaments come to town.

“That’s when the economic impact begins for the city, because they’re going to be spending their money at gas and restaurants and shopping while they’re here in town and the economic impact of the city is going to be pretty sizable,” said Lackey. “And so, there’s there’s some really good stuff coming down the pipe for others too.”

Reader’s note: Lackey said on the list of things he is excited about for 2023, his new grandchild due this spring tops it.