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Dickinson Parks and Recreation discuss finer details of sport complex project

With the envisioned sports complex being something unlike their other facilities, DPR said they will look to clearly identify their role within the project.

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Aerial view of the news sports complex. (Design courtesy of EAPC Architects Engineers)

The Parks and Recreation Board of Park Commissioners met last Friday, July 30, with the parks Executive Director James Kramer to touch-bases on the ongoing sports complex project. The board outlined ways they could consider contributing to the new sport complex project and what finer details need tackling regarding the operation and maintenance of this grand facility.

The $7 million facility, named the Sanford Sports Complex, will be constructed on Dickinson State University’s campus’ 40 acres of unused land — formerly the DSU rodeo grounds.

According to the plans, the new facility will include an array of five soccer, four softball fields, concessions, parking and a centrally located park.

With the envisioned sports complex being something unlike their other facilities, DPR said they will look to clearly identify their role within the project, in terms of financial responsibility, but also in terms of managing the operations at the sports complex.

From scheduling events at the complex to ground maintenance, these would be responsibilities the board said they would consider assuming as they have done in previous agreements with the other two entities involved, these including among others, the softball fields at the North Complex on Dickinson Public School property.

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“The other thing that we have been working on for a couple years is to kind of enhance how we are maintaining these sports complexes...We would like to take it to where these complexes are maintained and mowed at a higher level,” Kramer said. “To do that, obviously you need to increase your fertilizing, taking care of the weeds in the park. So it's something Craig (Person) and I talked about and we are getting a lot closer, but we think we are going to have a different way of mowing our properties. Being able to do these sport complexes in a little different manner.”

The commission members discussed the upkeep of likely high maintenance areas, specially the soccer fields’ goal post area, as well as irrigation capacity and possible maintenance storage.

Kramer expressed the importance of being able to provide the quality of the grounds work they currently produce at their other facilities.

“We don’t want to get into something (where) we’re not providing the type of facility that we are accustomed to. First class and very well done,” Kramer said.

In addition to maintenance, the board recognized that the construction of the playground and the restoration of the DSU tennis courts were key items on their agenda. The playground project is part of the sports complex, while the tennis courts project is a separate project running conjunction. According to the board, the tennis project will keep its location at DSU.

The tennis courts would also be a partnership between the university, the school district and DPR.

“Our community is kind of lacking a facility that can handle the high school’s tennis needs as far as their dual meets and tournaments (are concerned). High School courts are at a point of disrepair and will be taken out,” Kramer said. “We would enhance the four courts that are there and add two new courts...The project would be around $100,000. Already, the tennis club has raised $25.000.”

During their next DPR board meeting, on Aug. 9 at 4 p.m., the board will present and conclude their contribution to the shared sports complex project in more detail. With a public commentary hearing tentatively scheduled for Sept. 14.

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“In the August meeting we are going to have to make board driven decisions,” Kramer said. “How are we going to set-in and manage it, and what kind of contribution will we make to the project… I think it's more so covering our bases so that we are protected moving forward with a very good land-use agreement like we used to have with the university… Before Hawks Point was there, it was a shared-use facility with the university and park district. We had soccer fields, baseball fields, softball and we had a very good agreement, so there is history of us being able to do that.”

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James Kramer speaks to the commissions of the park board over the sports complex project. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

Related Topics: DICKINSON
Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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