Plans for one of the county's largest projects from the 2017 bond election include seven sports fields, batting cages, a meeting facility, a playground, picnic areas and trails. Concessions will not be provided, but plans would allow for food trucks to set up on-site, said Odette Tan, senior engineer with the Travis County Transportation and Natural Resources Department.
“These fields will be public,” Tan said. “They will be open to all ages.”
Voters approved $23.5 million for the project in November 2017. The county has contracted Stantec Consulting Services Inc. to plan, design and engineer the complex.
The city of Lakeway, per a January 2018 interlocal agreement, is providing a 70-acre site at 4440 Bee Creek Road to the tune of $3.7 million approved by voters in a 2014 bond.
An Oct. 25 presentation at Lakeway Activity Center Ballroom debuted the preliminary plan and provided an opportunity for public review and comment. Over 100 people attended the presentation, Tan said.
Support for the complex is strong, parks division Director Charles Bergh said. However, some area residents expressed concerns about late-night light nuisance, noise, traffic, parking, and the sale and consumption of alcohol, he said.
Plans include 560 parking spaces, or about 80 spots per field, Tan said. She said that should be ample parking for the complex. Traffic on nearby roads, however, is an ongoing conversation.
“We do recognize that having a sports complex will add traffic to SH 71,” she said. “That is something we will have to talk to [the Texas Department of Transportation] about.”
Commissioner Gerald Daughtery said he is working with TxDOT on the broader safety concerns on the highway.
“TxDOT recognizes that they are going to have to do more work on [SH] 71,” he said.
Tan explained that field lighting would be cut off at 10:30 p.m. at the latest. Many youth leagues end around 9:30 p.m., so lighting would in many instances be cut off before 10 p.m., she said.
To help reduce noise a vegetative buffer with trees, plants and existing vegetation is being planned, Tan said. Alcohol will not be permitted in the park, she said.