William C. Wadsack, Democratic Herald
Sherman is moving forward with plans of $ 4.5 million for the construction of a new sports complex west of Pecan Grove Park and $ 625,000 for further improvements to the city’s parks and facilities.
The city will soon begin advertising a risky construction manager for the sports complex’s work based on a design by park planners Dunkin, Sims, Stoffels, Inc. The Pecan Grove sports complex will include four baseball fields and softball, a large soccer area that could incorporate several fields at once, and some neighborhood park features such as a playground, playground and pavilion.
“This is a two-phase project, the first phase will include the four ball fields, then a large green space which will include football fields,” said Theresa Hutchinson, director of parks and recreation. “In that space there is enough space to handle all of the fields that we currently have in Fairview (Park) plus five or six smaller fields on top of that.
Hutchinson said the addition of the new soccer field would allow those currently at Fairview Park to become a training space. Baseball and softball fields will be located on one side of the complex, each pointing in a different direction. Two of the fields would be 200 feet from the outfield fence and the other two would be 225 feet.
“The second phase would include the spray field, playground, field lighting and all park amenities to the east,” Hutchinson said.
City Manager Robby Hefton said Terrence Steele, the city’s executive director, recently contacted the Texoma Health Foundation, which has partnered with developers at Gateway Village in Denison for the Texoma Health Foundation Park project, to inquire the interest of the organization in participating in the expansion of Sherman Park.
“It was a good conversation,” Hefton said. “I think all we can say right now is that summer is when we would discuss this more – that’s when their grant period is. We know they are interested in regional products, so we reached out to them to see if they would be willing to team up to possibly help with phase two of this project. So more to come on that.
The Pecan Grove Sports Complex is part of $ 5.125 million Sherman is spending on city parks as part of the capital improvement program for fiscal year 2017-18. Of the remaining $ 625,000, $ 500,000 is used for additional park improvements recommended as part of the City Parks and Recreation Master Plan process, $ 50,000 has been used for new playground equipment at Ely Park, $ 50,000 went to a walking trail in Fairview Park and $ 25,000 was spent on a green space near Lamar Street.
“The city bought about 12 acres on the western outskirts of town on Lamar Street where the old mobile homes were which were kind of an eyesore,” Hutchinson said of the green space. “We have already entered and cleaned up part of the space. We are planning to add a natural walking trail through the region.
Hutchinson said the “best thing” about the project is its proximity to Binkley Park, Center Street Park and the Lamar Street playground.
“So we hope in the future that we will one day be able to cross the stream so that we can extend our cycle paths,” she said.
Hutchinson said the $ 500,000 used for additional park improvements will address the three main things recommended as part of the city’s parks and recreation master plan process – hiking and biking trails, a new skate park and a dog park. The city is spending $ 250,000 on the Hawn Park skate park, $ 30,000 on a dog park in Fairview Park and $ 85,000 on items related to hiking and biking trails. The remaining $ 135,000 is used for additional upgrades and updates to the playgrounds.
Work on the walking and biking trails includes $ 30,000 for a Fairview Park walking trail lighting project, $ 15,000 for a new trail bridge at Baker Park and $ 40,000 for planning and signage for the plan. of the city’s cycle paths. Hutchinson said the city is also working on creating a master plan for bikes and trails. Hefton said city staff discussed Sherman’s plans for a master plan for bikes and trails with the Texas Department of Transportation as part of its planned work on US Highway 75.
“We’ll see what that turns out in terms of the actual design, but we’ve let them know that our desire is to have places where we can safely cross corridor (freeway) 75,” Hefton said. “We believe and hope that whatever the final design is, it can allow us to connect the parks and connect other things on both sides of the city. Right now it’s tough – you can get over the little walkway, but it’s just not a very good designated route and a safe route. “