(McAllen, TX) Three years after McAllen citizens approved an $11 million bond for the construction of a youth baseball complex, the project is now underway. Delays included a turn-over in administration at the start of the project and initial construction bids not in line with the budget.
The $9.117 million complex, which includes a $400,000 grant from TPWD, will feature 12 youth baseball fields on 51.32 acres, as well as:
· Concession/restroom facility
· Ticket Booth
· Maintenance building
· Granite walking trail around complex with solar lighting
· LED field lighting system
· Three lakes
· Two parking lots: one at main entry and secondary lot with for easy access. Over 400+ parking spaces
· Bike racks
· Picnic tables with shade structures
· Fully landscaped and irrigated using recycling system to recover stormwater runoff, and use irrigation district water along with effluent reuse system
· Large native plant preserve area
Each field to include: bleachers, dugouts; scoreboards, backstop; perimeter fencing; foul poles; scorer’s table; and canopies. Other infrastructure design elements include: looped water distribution system with fire hydrants; wastewater collection system; stormwater management system to include inlets and culverts; fiber optic network with 32 security cameras; wireless network available to the public.
“We are so excited to see the youth baseball complex construction moving forward, so that this time next year, we will be able to hear the crack of the bat as youth baseball teams in McAllen have a state-of-the-art facility to live out their home run dreams,” said City of McAllen District I Commissioner Richard Cortez, in whose district the project lies. “We took our time to get the project right, and that is the most important responsibility we have as elected officials: to properly manager taxpayer money. This will add a quality of life to our residents, but also, help to boost our local economy by being able to host multiple youth baseball tournaments at the complex. McAllen is truly playing ball!”
There are a multitude of steps that are involved in a project of this magnitude including: the formal sale of bonds to formally fund the project; property acquisitions that needed to be completed; demolition of two old homes on the property; topographic and boundary surveys, geotechnical investigations and archeological studies completed; and of course, completing the formal design and bidding process.
“Aside from the children who will soon be playing baseball here, no one is more excited to move forward with this project than the City of McAllen,” said City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E. “Baseball is America’s pastime, and we look forward to countless families in McAllen and beyond, spending time here, enjoying the game that brings us all together.”
The complex will be able to host a variety of International and National tournaments from youth to adult divisions, including Little League, Pony, Babe Ruth, Big League, ASA Adult Tournaments and high school softball and baseball games, to name a few. Aside from the fun and excitement that these tournaments will bring, the economic impact they will have on the community will be substantial, as well.
Another feature that City leaders hope to include in the development of the field is a “Miracle Field” that would be used by children with disabilities. The City of McAllen is working with the Capable Kids Foundation, seeking corporate sponsors to add the field, as well as a significant all-inclusive playground within the site.
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· City of McAllen, Including survey services from Halff Associates
· Rike Ogden Figueroa Allex Architects, Inc. (typically called ROFA)
Principals: Luis Figueroa & Manny Hinojosa
o Pendelum (Master Planning)
o DBR (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing)
o Hinojosa Engineering (Structural & Civil)
o SSP Design (Landscape & Irrigation)
o Raba Kistner Consultants (Geotechnical)
· Contractor: Hellas Construction, Austin, Texas
· Contract amount: $9.117 million
· Schedule: 190 working days; expected completion November 2017 (depending on weather)