The city of Granite Shoals is closer to completing its multipurpose sports complex with the hope of unveiling it in October.
On July 23, several councilors stopped by the complex, located at Quarry Park, for a construction update from City Manager Jeff Looney.
He also offered good news: The city found the funds to cover a projected $94,500 construction cost overrun.
And, the pickleball court was saved.
“We owe it to our citizens to make it a good facility,” Looney said. “Let’s spend the money and get it done right to make people happy. The worse thing people can do is build a facility that’s substandard.”
In 2017, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department awarded the city a $500,000 grant for the project. At the time, city staff estimated the complex would cost about $441,200. However, since then, cost projections have climbed, eventually leading to the shortfall.
To make up the additional costs, the city will use $39,500 from the parks’ restricted fund budget for the current year, $30,000 from the Capital in Parks Department budget, and $25,000 from a Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement for damage to city parks in the October 2018 flood.
The city is also providing the land and some structures for the complex.
Most of the money for the sports complex went to a roof and a concrete floor. The floor came in at $124,200, under the projected cost of $141,525. However, the roof repair at $148,315 was almost 3.5 times more than the projected cost of $42,550.
Those two fixes alone totaled $272,515.
Looney said the flooring and the roof needed to be repaired to ensure the safety and longevity of the complex, adding that H.D. Irvin Steel Construction discounted its roof work as much as it could.
“You don’t hear anything rattling in the building,” the city manager said. “You have to have it. (H.D. Irvin Steel Construction) did a great job with this. It looks fantastic.”
The artificial turf for the soccer field also is over its projected cost of $27,000. The new cost ranges from $55,080 to $68,188.
During their July 23 tour of the complex, several council members saw firsthand how construction is going.
As they examined three samples of different artificial turf for the soccer field, Councilor Will Skinner pointed out his favorite.
“I’d rather fall on this that feels like it’ll absorb,” he said as he ran his hands along the surface, which felt more like grass and less like carpet.
“On this one, you feel it,” he said about another sample.
His children, Emery, 13, and Rayden, 10, agreed.
“That one is more scratchy,” Emery said. “This one is more softer.”
“I like this one a little bit better,” Rayden said about his father’s and sister’s choice.
When it comes to flooring for the basketball, volleyball, and pickleball courts, officials are looking for surfaces with more bounce that can absorb the shock from jumps.
The facility will have a pickleball court but not a shuffleboard court because “there’s not a demand,” Looney said.
The city is also considering renting the facility or sections of it to sports teams or programs. Looney noted some people who run soccer clubs have already inquired about renting the field.
“People are getting excited about the use of the facility,” Looney said. “It behooves us to do it to the best of our ability and do it right.”