Weather slows softball complex work

December 21, 2018 GMT

Construction delays caused by ongoing rainy weather in 2018 have pushed back the projected opening of the city of Deer Park’s renovated girls softball complex.

Identified as one of seven Type B-funded projects overseen by the city’s Community Development Corp. and approved by voters in 2015, the $3 million renovation to the ballfields at the Youth Sports Complex at 500 X St. began in January and was projected to be completed by spring 2019, but delays have set the completion date back so that the park won’t be ready for the public until late spring or summer.

The city has made accommodations for teams to use a alternative facility for the 2019 girls’ softball season in the spring, said Charlie Sandberg, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

He said several variables affected the construction process, primarily weather.

“Unfortunately, we have experienced one of the wettest rainfalls accumulated and number of days of actual rainfall that affected the project,” Sandberg said.

Other factors in the delay include establishing the field turf and ensuring it is safe.

“The grass was installed much later than anticipated due to the rain, requiring more time for the grass to fully grow and be ready for usage,” Sandberg said. “We cannot afford the facility to be unsafe; therefore, we feel the grass will need to be fully prepared for our athletes to use later this year.”

The expanded and updated ballfield complex will benefit the Deer Park community in several ways, Sandberg said.

“The Girls Softball Complex will create opportunities for our residents to be involved in recreational experiences with family, friends and neighbors that promote quality of life,” Sandberg said.

The renovation, Sandberg said, will include construction of two additional softball fields so that when completed, the complex will have a total of six fields, including four lighted ones. In addition, the project will include a batting cage that will accommodate up to four players instead of two, a new concession stand, new restrooms, more energy-efficient lighting and double the parking space.

The only changes to the landscape of the 18.8-acre complex were two two small groups of trees near X Street that the city said needed to be removed to make way for some of the renovations.

According to Sandberg, most of the project has been completed, including concession and maintenance buildings, batting cages, additional parking, lights installed on four fields and grading, irrigation, electrical and most of the infrastructure.

The city is hoping that when completed, these improvements will attract more tournaments to the area.

“The new complex will effectively double the capacity of the complex as a whole, allowing more youth and teams to enjoy quality recreation for years to come,” Sandberg said. “We will be so excited to welcome athletes to enjoy this complex upon its completion. We would encourage them to utilize the facility with care and to help us maintain this new asset for our whole community.”

For more information, visit the City of Deer Park website at https://bit.ly/2EsYnH2