Construction for Keller Sports Park improvements will begin in January after a guaranteed maximum price was established Dec. 5.

Keller City Council approved the guaranteed maximum price of $30.9 million.

Keller City Council member Ross McMullin said the renovations to Keller Sports Park will be a “generational moment” for Keller.

“I couldn’t be more excited for it,” he said at the council meeting. “But the reason I think it’s a generational moment is because this has been a project that has been years in the making. I think it’s going to take our community to that next level where we’re not only recognized as Texas’ most family-friendly city but also as a youth sports capital here in North Texas.”

He said he appreciated the work of City Council, city staff and a task force created for the work conducted on the sports park improvements.

Dean Construction of Cedar Hill will oversee the improvements to the Keller Sports Park, with construction set to begin in January 2024 and be substantially complete by December 2025, according to a council agenda memo.

The details

The guaranteed maximum price sets a maximum price for the project, meaning any costs above that amount are absorbed by the construction manager at risk, and the park project is being managed through a construction manager at-risk contract, City Community Services Director Cody Maberry and City Director of Administrative Services Aaron Rector said in an email.

The background

Maberry gave council a history of the Keller Sports Park project, as a special task force was created by council in August 2021 to investigate and make recommendations for improvements to the Keller Sports Park. His presentation included illustrations and schedules of construction of the additions at the park.

The presentation also included the bid amount price for the individual items—$26.8 million—along with other expenses, such as the contingency amount, which came to $1.3 million. Contingency funds can pay for unexpected expenses that arise during construction.

The project will cover a number of features at the park, such as adding a new grass multipurpose field with an associated parking lot; replacing one grass soccer field with synthetic turf; constructing two new lighted baseball fields; renovating existing multipurpose and baseball fields; constructing new restrooms, storage and concession buildings; constructing a new field house and meeting rooms, renovating existing restroom/concession buildings; constructing new shade structures; and enhancing landscaping, lighting, fencing, backstops, and netting throughout the park.

Diving in deeper

Funding is included in the fiscal year 2023-24 parks capital improvement fund, with funding provided by certificates of obligation, and annual payments will be funded by the Keller Development Corporation. Rector presented information to council and answered questions in a separate agenda item for a resolution directing publication of notice of the city's intention to issue combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation to provide funds for parks and recreation improvements, and for related issuance costs. Council approved that item.

The certificates of obligation are worth $28 million, and the rest of the money comes from the water-wastewater fund and to-be-determined funds, such as from the American Rescue Plan Act, Rector said.

What they’re saying

Mayor Armin Mizani asked Maberry about the dialogue that will occur between sports organizations and city officials once construction begins, including updates on their fields.

“I typically have continuous conversations in collaboration with all of the association presidents,” Maberry said, referring to sports league leaders. “I have shared this with them, back in October, this potential schedule. Of course, things can change with weather and supply chains and things like that.”

He then discussed specific field usage and scheduling, including disruptions and planning.

Mizani praised the associations and the task force for all of their participation on the park improvement project. He said the park improvements represent a “big moment” for the community, and the product will be something the community will be proud of.

“I’m excited for what it means to the families that live in Keller and those who utilize our facilities,” Mizani said. “I think it goes beyond just sports. As I mentioned in the task force meetings, this is going to be a great point of pride for our community. It’s going to be, I think, representative of what Keller stands for as the most family-friendly city in Texas.”

He said other events could be held at the park in the future, such as music and fireworks. He liked how the financing worked out well for the city, and said his kids and other kids in the community will be able to use the project soon and not years down the road.

“This is going to be a preeminent park in North Texas, in my opinion,” council member Shannon Dubberly said.