Blake Coleman with TBG Partners, a firm the city hired to design the incoming Bay Colony Park, presented to City Council the firm’s plan for the site, which totals an estimated $38 million.
The 109-acre parcel on the southwest corner of Calder Road and Ervin Street would include five softball fields, four baseball fields, two international-sized soccer fields on which football could also be played, six tennis courts, a disc golf course, a playground, a pavilion, bathrooms, a concession stand and detention ponds, Coleman said.
The site has some restrictions, such as a gas pipeline, an energy transfer line, and right of way that will eventually be used for the expansion of the Grand Parkway through League City. Still, TBG Partners made the most of the space available, Coleman said.
“With those limitations, we’ve tried to use every square inch of the plan to serve a purpose,” he said.
City Council members said they were surprised to see such a high price tag of $38 million for the limited number of fields.
“That is an incredible amount of money to add nine [baseball and softball] fields and two soccer fields,” Council Member Nick Long said. “I just think it’s a nonstarter at this price tag.”
Council Member Chad Tressler said some of the amenities add much to the price tag. The bathroom and pavilion are estimated at over $600,000, and a proposed maintenance shed is $450,000, he said.
Coleman said a lot of the cost is due to detention, and about $1 million of the price is set aside to haul off dirt from the development. Hopefully, TBG Partners can reduce the estimated price as design is detailed, he said.
Long said the Chester L. Davis Sportsplex is among the best public sports facilities in the area. Bay Colony Park needs to aspire to that quality rather than go so far above and beyond.
“I think [Council Member Andy] Mann said it best: What we have is a Range Rover,” Council Member Larry Millican said of the plan. “What we need is a Chevrolet.”
Bay Colony Park was originally proposed years ago when a developer proposed converting the existing Chester L. Davis Sportsplex into an entertainment district. At the time, the city and developer planned to create Bay Colony Park with several more fields than TBG Partners has proposed.
Director of Parks Chien Wei said the original plan did not include parking lots or detention, resulting in far more room for more fields that simply is not available now.
“I think it looks beautiful,” Council Member Hank Dugie said of the park plan. “I just would hope we could get more field space out of it than this.”
Mayor Pat Hallisey agreed, saying the plan for the park began due to residents’ demand for more sports fields on which to play and practice.
“What we’re seeing more of than anything in this town is demand for youth athletics,” he said, noting Bay Colony Park should include the maximum number of baseball and softball fields possible.
City Council directed TBG Partners to return with a cheaper plan with fewer amenities. Tressler said the city would love to have Bay Colony Park as TBG Partners has planned it but cannot afford it.