How will it look?

Confluence image: The City of Brookings is seeking design services for the Bob Shelden Athletic Complex renovation project, with upgrades planned for lighting, the grandstand, parking lot and drainage. The design work could cost about $300,000.

Council requests proposals for design services on Shelden complex

BROOKINGS – The Brookings City Council has approved proceeding with design request for proposals on the Bob Shelden Athletic Complex renovation project. 

The anticipated cost of the design services is $300,000, according to City Engineer Jackie Lanning.

Lanning said the design services could put together a menu of options for the council to consider. She highlighted the needs of lighting, which she called “aged and dangerous”; the grandstand, which doesn’t meet ADA requirements; the parking lot, which has been in “severe shape” for a number of years; and drainage, which affects playability of the fields. 

The agenda included a drawing showing a schematic of the athletic complex options. One of the maps broke down the projects and cost of each: Stadium, $2.7 million; lights, $400,000; east field flip, $300,000; and the design/bid, $300,000, for a total of $3.7 million. Lanning’s schedule includes getting the design done this summer and having construction completed by November 2020.

Staff is not proposing turf at this time, just natural grass, Lanning added.

As they get into the design phase, Lanning anticipates updating the council periodically so councilors can decide if they want to move forward with various components.

“Design services for the Bob Shelden Athletic Field Complex Renovation are necessary prior to bidding the project,” Lanning wrote in a memo attached to the agenda on the city’s website. 

She gave more details about the complex’s importance and use as an athletic field, including sub-varsity football games, and youth baseball facility.

“Due to its age, the facility and many of its components are in need of replacement,” Lanning wrote. 

She included a facility description of the complex, which was originally constructed in 1968.

“In February, a resolution was adopted, authorizing a $7.1 million bond to fund the Larson Ice Arena and the Bob Shelden renovation projects and additional infrastructure needs,” Lanning wrote.

“The anticipated design cost is $300,000 and would be funded from the bond proceeds. If this item is approved, staff will issue a request for proposals to select a design team for the project. Final costs would be funded from the remaining $3.1 million of bond proceeds,” Lanning wrote.

Councilor Leah Brink asked if the four ball fields in the corner would have any changes made to them.

Not on this project, Lanning said.

Not even to the bleachers or other infrastructure, Brink clarified.

“Not at this time,” said Mike Struck, director of Community Development. Over the years, the ones using those fields have changed; it used to be 11-12 year-olds, and now it’s mostly the kids 10 and younger who play baseball on them. It’s also used for fast-pitch for various ages. He said spacing between the fields is an issue.

Brink asked if the teener field south of the track was too big to move over into one of the four field’s spaces, if there are fewer games being played.

“I can’t say there’s fewer games being played,” Struck said. If they’d move the teener field over, they’d “have to take out at least three of the fields, and maybe all four, to create one field.”

There is a plan to flip the teener field so homeruns would go toward the track, instead of the street, as it does now, he said.

Part of the reason they moved the 11-12 year-olds over to the teener field is safety concerns, he added.

When the four fields were being used by older kids, they’d hit balls over Eighth Street South, hitting cars while they were driving by, breaking windows. The younger kids can’t throw or hit the ball as far as the older kids, so their activity can be contained in the dimensions of the fields.

Mayor Keith Corbett was absent; Deputy Mayor Patty Bacon presided over the meeting Tuesday. Councilor Nick Wendell was present by phone.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected].