The Sports Complex Improvements project is located in the Old Settlers Park at Palm Valley in Round Rock, Texas. Several years ago, the City of Round Rock adopted the slogan, “Sports Capital of Texas.” Unfortunately, their athletic facilities did not live up to that designation. The goal of this project was to bring the existing ball fields and spectator areas up the level that one would expect from “The Sports Capital of Texas.” It is not unusual for the City to host softball and baseball tournaments that exceed enrollment of more than 100 teams in a weekend. Therefore, it was critical that the improvements were not only functional and aesthetically pleasing but also durable enough to withstand large crowds. The project consisted of:
A master plan for the park that included the design of the immediate improvements and also the future phases of development.
A new girls softball complex which included five (5) lighted fields, one championship field with terraced bleachers, covered bleacher areas, concession/restroom building, covered playground and a large plaza with trellis.
Improvements of three (3) existing baseball complexes. These improvements include renovating all visitor/pedestrian areas to create plazas for large groups, covered bleacher areas, covered playgrounds, renovating the existing restroom/concession buildings, batting cages, providing one championship field at each complex.
Conversion of an existing softball complex into a baseball complex. The improvements included converting five (5) fields from softball to baseball, renovating visitor/pedestrian areas to create a plaza for large groups, covered bleacher areas, covered playground, renovating the existing restroom/concession buildings, batting cage, providing a championship field.
A proshop/restroom building for the existing tennis complex.
A park identity that unites all of the ballfield complexes.
The renovation of the existing utilities including water, sanitary sewer, storm drain and electric.
A signage system that helps visitors navigate through the numerous complexes.
Development of the areas around the ballfield complexes into usable greenspace for picnics and tailgating.
The design team was challenged to turn an outdated ballfield complex into a world class facility that one would expect to see at the “Sports Capital of Texas”.
While this project was not a total renovation, starting from scratch would have been a simpler task. The design team had to preserve existing restroom/concession buildings, the ballfields themselves and a myriad of existing utilities. This required an extensive site inventory and analysis. The team investigated and evaluated virtually every system on site from the storm drain to the ballfield lights in order to form a complete picture of what was reusable, safe or unsafe, and what was in conflict with proposed improvements.
In addition to providing recreational opportunities, the park improvements have been a source of economic development for the community. During the spring, summer and fall, it is not uncommon for the park to host more than 100 teams for a weekend tournament. The complex’s ability to host large crowds has resulted in increased revenue for local hotels and restaurants, as well.