Sports complex planning kicks off following land acquisition
Pflugerville approves nearly $4.3 million for facility site
By Emilie Shaughnessy September 30, 2015
The city of Pflugerville approved the purchase a 238-acre property in August for a new athletic complex that could include up to 24 fields. The purchase comes nearly two years after a study determined the city needed to build such a facility to accommodate its growing youth sports leagues.
City Council approved the acquisition of the $4.276 million Rosa Pfluger Tract off Cameron Road on Aug. 25 and is requesting bids from architecture and engineering firms interested in designing the sports complex. The site is large enough to also include a community park and nature areas, Mayor Jeff Coleman said.
“This gives us a lot of acres to grow into,” Coleman said. “The topography is beautiful. It has elevation changes, and it has a creek running through it. It gives the planners a lot of possibilities.”
Coleman said he hopes to see final design plans for the site by early next summer. The city will begin developing the southern portion of the property into athletic fields and spend the next decade turning the rest of the land into a recreation destination, he said.
The land purchase is funded through an $11 million bond voters approved in November for a sports complex, according to city officials. At the time of the bond, the city was considering several locations for the complex but had not selected a site, officials said.
Jesse Pedraza, president of the Pflugerville Area Youth Soccer League, said the new complex cannot come soon enough. Currently the league only has dedicated practice space for its competitive teams and has to share public park space with other organizations.
“I don’t know what it is, but [the Pflugerville area] is a magnet for soccer clubs,” he said. “We’re pretty much on top of each other trying to find practice space.”
Pedraza said PAYSL enrolls about 1,400 children and has been growing by about 9 percent each season.
“If we grow more we just don’t have anywhere to put more teams,” he said. “It’s a good problem to have, I guess.”
In addition to the soccer clubs, there are baseball, football and other sports leagues vying for practice space at Pflugerville’s city parks, middle schools and elementary schools.
Pflugerville Little League President Michael Owens said his organization is in a challenging position because its complex is not city property. Although PLL is also short on practice space and in need of several facility improvements, it must rely on participant fees and concessions to fund the program.
Owens said he hopes the new complex will allow PLL to relax its fees and take some of the burden off board members, who Owens said spent Labor Day fixing plumbing issues in the complex’s restrooms.
“It’s all stuff we are responsible for maintaining,” he said. “The new complex will be great, but [the time span] from purchasing to actually breaking ground still puts us off for years.”
Coleman said a new sports complex was his top priority when running for re-election and that the city will continue to make it a primary goal.
“We promised citizens we would create a sports complex because we are in desperate need of [practice and game space],” he said. “I’m very pleased it’s going to be well on the road while I’m mayor, and we’ll be able to enjoy it after I’m mayor.”