Pearland city officials are leading efforts to expand the city-owned Hickory Slough Sportsplex, including doubling the number of fields from six to 12 and expanding the sports center’s concessions, restrooms and parking areas.

The gist

On Jan. 22, Pearland City Council voted to award a $1.69 million contract to Kimley Horn and Associates for the initial design phase of the project, which is expected to cost $17.6 million in total, according to agenda documents.

Located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Hughes Ranch Road and Max Road, the sportsplex currently provides a play area for Pearland Youth Lacrosse and Shadow Creek Soccer Club, which collectively serve 1,334 participants, according to agenda documents.

City officials plan to meet with the sports leagues to ensure the players’ and spectators' needs are reflected in the project’s design. The project’s design phase will begin in February and is expected to take 12 months, City Manager Trent Epperson said.

The proposed development includes adding six lighted sports fields, a pavilion, additional parking, expanded restroom and concession facilities, a small maintenance building, a playground and lighting for the three existing fields, according to agenda documents.

By the numbers

Voters approved the sportsplex’s second development phase in the 2023 bond referendum held last May. Following the referendum, the city entered a cost-sharing agreement with the Pearland Economic Development Corporation.

While the Kimley Horn and Associates contract is only $1.69 million, the projected costs of the entire expansion is $17.6 million, which the PEDC plans to cover in part with $1.6 million in bond payments, according to agenda documents.

Those in favor

Council Member Joseph Koza praised city council and the PEDC’s joint efforts to find ways to resourcefully cover the project’s cost, drawing attention to council members Chad Thumann and Mona Chavarria who formerly sat on the PEDC’s board of directors.

“There is a way that we can spend money through the PEDC to be able to work on parks,” Koza said. “So what we were able to do is be able to reduce our tax rate on the debt side by the $17 million impact that it has, and I just wanted to tell y’all, thank y’all for the work that y’all did, I appreciate it.”

Next steps

In February, city staff will present recommendations to City Council for soccer fees for the league users to help fund the project, Director of Parks and Recreation Carry Capers said.