A Sand Creek Sports Complex is moving forward after the Brentwood City Council agreed to hire a firm for the planning, design and construction document services for the project.
Located at Sand Creek road and Fairview, what is being deemed a “soccer complex”, the design portion of the project will take place in 2023 and will include public outreach with construction is anticipated to begin in 2024.
On Tuesday, the council simply chose the firm to begin the process in which Verde Design, Inc. secured a $1.945 million contract which included a 15% contingency.
Upon approval of the agreement (see staff report), services will commence by the end of November. Following completion of a public outreach process and workshop with the Park and Recreation Commission, staff will return to City Council with the concept designs and cost estimates.
Services to be provided by the Consultant include:
- Phase I: Preliminary Design Services
- Phase II: Design Development / 65% Construction Documents
- Phase III: 90% Construction Documents
- Phase IV: 100% & Bid Construction Documents
- Phase V: Bidding Services
The biggest item of contention Tuesday on this agenda item was ensuring artificial turf was the priority over natural grass.
According to Bruce Mulder, Director of Parks and Recreation, he explained how this had been a top priority for the council.
Once the contract is in place, the consultant will work with the staff, community and parks and recreation commission to complete planning and design of the park and get this project to construction.
Mulder stated 23-firms requested the RFQ while October 11, two firms submitted Statement of Qualifications with Verde Designs being selected—the firm also has worked with Liberty and Heritage High Schools. He stated planning and design would take place in 2023 with construction of the park beginning in 2024.
Councilmember Jovita Mendoza clarified that the two drawings in the staff report were not going to be the final product as those were done in in 2002 and 2007.
Mulder explained the designs in the RFQ were preliminary that they have had to help define the project.
“We will take those and work with Verde Designs and do additional community outreach to customize and refine this project for Brentwood for now and the future,” said Mulder. “I know the emphasis has been on sports field and multi-use fields and artificial turf with additional fields in the basin. That will be brought to the community to refine to make sure we have the right design for Brentwood.”
Councilmember Karen Rarey asked about the emphasis would be on artificial turf on the city portion but depending on what the community input is, she asked if the vision for artificial turf can be changed by committee or public input.
Mulder explained the vision for artificial turf was to “maximize play” and works well with lights and different activity on one field which they feel is the best vision for the park, but it made sense to have expertise designers come in and validate it with the community.
“There is a lot of different considerations that go into natural turf versus artificial turf and I think its important we have that conversation with our consultant before we go ahead and say absolutely we want artificial turf,” explained Mulder. “The vision is artificial turf and that is what will be presented but it needs to be evaluated with our consultant. We also have to look at the model, how much its used and replacement costs and things like that have to come into play and make sure it makes sense. We think its artificial turf, that is what we are bringing forward and this will be confirmed through the community outreach process.”
Rarey explained she felt like the decision was going to be taken out of the councils hands and turned over to parks and recreation.
“It’s our strategic initiative and it was and we no longer have a say in it,” said Rarey.
Mulder said the council can bring it back at anytime for review and ultimately it will be the city council ultimate decision.
City Manager Tim Ogden jumped in stating if the council wants artificial turf they will build artificial turf.
“We just want to double check the numbers, best practices and all the things that come along with the obligation of artificial turf, but if that is the direction of the council we have no intention to change that,” stated Ogden.
Derek McKee, of Verde Designs, explained in the RFQ it was not determined the direction but believe the fields in the basin will be natural turf and based on the RFQ there was timelines as grass takes longer as it has to be planted but its to be determined.
Rarey said it appeared it was all grass areas and the spreading out of fields.
Mulder clarified that the intention was artificial turf for the upper fields to maximize the fields with natural grass in the basin portion.
Mendoza suggested they put something in the contract where if it had to be grass it would come back before the council.
City Attorney Damien Brower jumped in stopping the council from placing goals in the agreement as it was not appropriate—that would be a separate item and the focus is the agreement tonight.
Mendoza shot back.
“If we are agreeing to something, we need to know what we are agreeing to,” stated Mendoza.
Rarey also stated there was design and construction in the agreement for natural turf or artificial turf.
Mendoza also suggested if Verde goes and does grass and comes back and its not what we want, then the city would be on the hook for more money for a new contract because they were not specific enough.
Mulder stated, “as I understand it, the contract does provide artificial turf as an option and its clear to staff councils feeling on this. All I am saying is for this item tonight, unless you are going to amend the agreement in some fashion, you are really placing goals which is a sperate item looking back and strategic plan which is not on the agenda tonight.”
Mendoza then asked if they could add priorities in the language.
“If we are going to sign an agreement for a lot of money, we want to make sure that they come back with the right thing. They then come back and its not what I wanted,” stated Mendoza.
Brower stated the agreement does place a lot of milestones for participation by both council and the public and parks and recreation. At any point in the process, if people feel its not going in the direction they want it to go they could bring it back.
“This is just the design contract to start the process,” stated Brower who added the council at any point can bring it back and at some point would come back to the council anyway for approval.
Mulder added the council comments are noted and the planning and design process and the emphasis will be on artificial turf and maximizing the space and fields for play.
Ogden stated they understand the council direction and they will amend the CIP book to make it “extra clear” for artificial turf and maximize fields where they can.
Danny Dorman shared his concerns stating the debate over artificial turf or natural turf should be a Brentwood decision, not a council one while accusing them of attempting to “yank it” from parks and recreation. He also stated artificial turf is hotter in the summer and they would actually lose days of play.
“I am concerned because it appears the direction staff is going to be given is artificial turf despite we have not even considered what we in the community would like to see,” said Dorman. “It sounds like to the point where you folks do not even want to get the party started unless its specifically artificial turf.”
Ian (no last name) called Sand Creek Sports Complex exciting, called for collaboration and utilize the citizens.
Marisol (no last name) urged for clarification on the process of working with the community.
Rod Flohr stated to get the tournament traffic and for economic development, artificial turf was the better way to go while noting its important to hear from the community.
Rarey said they did an extensive public outreach two-years ago for parks and recreation master plan with the largest group that came in was the soccer contingent with 100 soccer players who came in to discuss the things they wanted.
“Artificial turf was at the top of their list,” said Rarey while noting the newer artificial turf use different materials which are organic and keep the fields cooler and have a better appearance. “I do like the synthetic field, but have had a two year extensive outreach in what was needed and that was done in our master plan.”
Mendoza stated she knows it does get hot, but kids and teams wanted artificial turf noting some issues at Sunset Park with the divots and slope.
“Artificial turf wasn’t just because it was our choice,” said Mendoza. “We have heard about it in meetings, heard about it from parents that their kids are playing. We are not doing it because we think it looks better, its actually safer for the kids playing and easier to maintain.”
She also questioned why this changed from a soccer complex to a sports complex and that they cant be all things to all people. She urged for the emphasis on this to be soccer and they can look at other projects for other sports in the future.
“We need to be smart about that and utilize the space to bring in more people to play, more warm bodies and which is more people at our hotels, more people eating at our restaurants more people shopping at our stores,” said Mendoza. “The more we optimize it, the better for our city overall.”
Council voted 5-0 to approve the item.