A multi-purpose ball park is coming to Macon-Bibb next spring. On Monday, county leaders and little league players broke ground on the new $1.5 million project.

Matilda Hartley Elementary students are leading the way, excited for a new place to play ball. “They're going to do good work on the new field,” said 10-year-old Tremerra Smith. “They're going to do good work on the new field,” said 9-year-old Treziya Smith.

Treziya and Tremerra Smith are two Little League players hoping to make a grand slam in classroom and on the youth development field behind it. “Not only will we have baseball, but football, soccer, and lacrosse. The outfield will be lined with that,” said Jeff Batcher with Macon RBI.

Construction should begin in early 2018, with the park scheduled to open next May. The future Cal Ripken Senior Foundation Development park will be the first of its kind in the state. “When I was a young man, I played football. I got involved in sports and it gave me the confidence to do other things,” said Curtis Jones, Bibb Schools Superintendent.

In addition to building the field, Randy Acosta with the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation says their goal is to build a safe space to play and build character as well. “Just giving these kids an opportunity. When you change their environment, you help transform them and you're giving these kids hope,” said Acosta.

The "big win" in the game of life isn't always building big league players, but building big league people. “Not only can we transform a community, but we can transform statistics by giving these kids a safe place to go,” said Acosta.

The Cal Ripken Senior Foundation is responsible for building more than 60 youth development parks in the U.S. The new park is funded by the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation and county blight funds.