Work progressed this week on the new Grays Community Center building in Pacific Park, with work for the foundation.
The City of Sulphur Springs Capital Construction Division had finished preparing the pad site for the Grays building by Sept. 1. The soil came from the drainage way just south of Spring Street, behind the pawn shop. This gives the city the added benefit of increased stormwater retention, which should further reduce the threat of flooding on Oak Avenue, where the new Senior Citizens Building is to be located.
The construction manager solicited bids for masonry construction, building concrete and structural steel materials for the new Grays Buildin. At the Sept. 1 meeting, Sulphur Springs City Council approved Sulta Manufacturing’s bid of $60,310 for steel materials, Potts Concrete’s bid of $136,887 for concrete construction, and J&J Masonry’s bid of $39,685 for masonry work
As a cost-saving measure, city staff is performing all dirt work, plumbing and electrical work, and will also construct all sidewalks and on-street parking for the park project, according to City Manager Marc Maxwell.
With the pad work complete, city staff began foundation work yesterday. City crews were out Thursday morning, Sept. 17, measuring and inspecting work started on Wednesday. The overnight and light drizzle Thursday morning wasn’t expected to slow the project any. Drilling of piers at the site could begin as early as Friday, the city staff report.
The Grays Community Center building is one of two voter-approved bond projects. The city received the $3 million in bond proceeds in March for Pacific Park improvements and creation of a new Senior Citizens Activity Center; $1.5 million has been designated toward each project. Sulphur Springs residents in November 2019 voted to allow the city to use up to $200,000 of EDC money for up to 20 years for a 4B purpose, to make payments on the bond. The project has to be finished within 3 years of issuing the bond.
City officials also received notification in Aug. 27 that the City of Sulphur Springs’ application for a $750,000 Parks and Wildlife Department grant to help fund the Pacific Park improvement project has been approved.
The TPWD grant is a matching grant, which means the city will also have to contribute $750,000 – a portion of the bond funding. Combined, that provides $2.25 million for the “rather larger improvement complex” in Pacific Park. The funding will cover all costs of Pacific Park improvements included in the city’s project plan, according to City Manager Marc Maxwell.
The Pacific Park project will include a new Grays Community Building that includes indoor and outdoor areas, three bay roll-up doors. A large covered sports pavilion will be located on the other end of the park. There will be new playgrounds, a lighted walking path, improvements to the splash pad, an outdoor basketball court and new restrooms.
With the building project under way, the city will soon be focused on the design for the rest of the park. Officials have a basic layout for the other park improvements based on information gleaned during a planning charrette. Focus will turn toward plans for the rest of the park, but those likely won’t begin until late winter or early spring.