Construction of the second phase of the North Main Athletic Complex is moving forward. At its June 17 meeting, the Holly Springs Town Council approved, barring no complications, a contract to the lowest bidder, T.A. Loving Company.
The $8,182,985 second phase of the complex includes a 1,800-seat multi-sports stadium with synthetic turf and lights, as well as restrooms, concessions and parking. The stadium field will be used for baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, football and other sports, as well as for special Town events.
The facility is being paid for by a portion of the parks and recreation bonds Holly Springs voters authorized in November 2011. Additional funds for the project will come through partnerships with athletic organizations including the Wake Futbol Club lease of $84,000 per year for part-time use of the phase one soccer fields and the Creative Sports Lease of $85,000 per year for 25 percent usage of the stadium. Selling naming rights to the facility might bring in additional revenue for the project. Town Manager Chuck Simmons said businesses had expressed tentative interest.
In addition to the various Town sports and events to be held at the stadium, the Coastal Plain League has announced that Holly Springs will have its own team in the collegiate baseball league. The Town and league will use the stadium for concerts and other special events.
Parks and Recreation Director Len Bradley said the original lowest bid was $9.6 million, and staff negotiated a decrease to the current $8.1 million price, also leaving out some amenities originally planned for the stadium, including a permanent beer garden structure, pillars and landscaping along North Main Street, and a second set of restrooms.
The first phase of construction at the stadium, which includes synthetic turf soccer fields, eight regulation-sized and four youth-sized tennis courts and parking already is under construction and is anticipated to open this fall. The first phase is being paid for by bond money, as well as street reserves for road construction and associated costs.
Click here for more information on the North Main Athletic Complex.
In other parks news, the council tabled a vote on a trespassing and vandalism policy for parks and recreation facilities. In the draft policy, offenders would be suspended from visiting all parks facilities and, for vandalisms, the cases would be handled by the police. However, the length of suspensions for various incidents was under discussion. Council member also wanted to add parent involvement to a more comprehensive policy.
Recently, Bradley said, several incidents involving people climbing the fence surrounding the synthetic turf fields at Womble Park have damaged the fence. In addition, even more vandalisms have occurred at Town parks. The vandalisms include synthetic turf being burned, roof damage to a picnic shelter and marking on picnic shelters and band shells.
Locals, and the parents and the high school soccer coach of minors recently caught trespassing at the Womble Park synthetic turf fields, addressed the council. One said a written apology and meeting with a parent and town employee would be more than enough punishment for a first-time trespassing offense. All asked for the synthetic turf fields to be more accessible for free play.
The natural-turf Pit fields located across the street were available for public access during the incident they referenced. The Town has not enforced its trespassing policy for the minors.
Simmons said the Town’s goal has never been to restrict access to facilities but to find a balance between allowing public access and protecting public facilities.
Bradley said hours of open play at the synthetic turf fields are listed on the Town website. And, during times when fields are rented, the Town leaves one quad, about the size of a regulation-sized soccer field, open for play.
The council will revisit the issue at the next council meeting July 1.
“We're trying to make sure it’s a fair, straightforward policy,” said Councilwoman Linda Hunt Williams.
Other meeting news
Information Technology Department Director Jeff Wilson updated the council on the Town’s municipal fiber network construction, which is complete. The 13-mile network boosts Town internet speeds, also benefiting the Town's public wireless network, which is available at local parks and Town facilities. Click here for a map showing Town of Holly Springs Wi-Fi areas.
Wilson said plans for the network's future include expanding public wireless to all parks and adding wireless internet access to more public areas. The fiber network also will allow streaming cameras showing action at the Womble baseball fields and Bass Lake Park.
The council approved a sidewalk connection along Cayman Avenue, connecting sidewalks in the Windward Point subdivision to Main Street. The $25,000 project will be constructed by Town Public Works staff and also is expected to calm the traffic flow by moving the curb to create narrower travel lanes.
The council approved entering into a $12,570 contract for construction administration of the 2014 Street Improvements Project list. Repair and resurfacing projects include Holly Meadow Drive from Sycamore Drive to Holly Branch Drive, Hyannis from the entrance to Arbor Commons Drive, Osterville from the entrance to Arbor Commons Drive, Sturminster, the Thornton Green Place cul-de-sac, and Earp Street from Bass Lake Road to Holly Bay Lane.
The council approved annexing more than 80 acres at 2908 Avent Ferry Road. The property is noncontiguous with current Town boundaries and is located toward New Hill Holleman Road. The council also zoned the property R-10-CU: Residential Conditional Use, which would allow for about 240 homes with conditions the developer added to the property.
Councilwoman Cheri Lee voiced concerns about an already overburdened Avent Ferry Road.
Councilman Tim Sack said the property would take years to develop and would be built with a lower density than the Braxton Village and Holly Glen subdivisions.
The council also rezoned property located at 212 Avent Ferry Road from R-15: Residential to TV: Town Village. The property is located in downtown Holly Springs near Avent Ferry Road's intersection with Ballentine Street. The zoning will be consistent with long-term development plans.
The council approved rezoning a .11-acre property located on Newspaper Way from R-20: Residential to BT-CU: Business and Technology, Conditional Use, to match the zoning of an adjacent property rezoned earlier in the year.
The council approved $68,180 for a study of the sewer system on the west side of Town, which will assist with sewer capital project planning. The council approved of a $49,172 agreement for additional Utley Creek environmental work, performing more monitoring and modeling work to support the Town’s request to the state to allow the wastewater treatment plant’s discharge to remain at its current location.
The council approved amending an infrastructure reimbursement agreement with the developer of the Vaughan Tract, located near Piney Grove Wilbon Road. The developer agreed to construct a pump station to serve its development and to oversize the station to serve projected growth in the drainage basin for the next seven to 10 years. The developer also will oversize the gravity sewer lines that lead to the pump station. The agreement will now last for five years instead of three years, and staff management of the credits will be handled differently.
The council also approved renewing an infrastructure reimbursement agreement with the developer of Stonemont for oversizing gravity sewer lines and a pump station to service future upstream development.
The council entered into a $10,000 contract at the cost of Rex Healthcare to revise a traffic impact analysis being conducted at the intersection of Avent Ferry Road and the G.B. Alford Highway.
Councilman Hank Dickson introduced new Holly Springs High School Hawks Football Coach Wayne Bragg.
"Nothing brings a community more together than Friday night football," Dickson said.
For the past three years, Coach Bragg has served as director of athletics at Green Hope High School that was awarded the Wells Fargo Cup all three years for the best athletic program in North Carolina. Coach Bragg was a successful head football coach at Panther Creek from 2006 through 2011.
Sheldon Clark, teacher and adolescent program coordinator at The New School Montessori Center in Holly Springs, addressed the council, describing a new program that studies southern Wake County and Holly Springs. Students will be looking at the history of the community and considering ways in which that history shapes where and how we live today.