Future baseball complex construction project - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Future baseball complex construction project heads back to the drawing board

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CANYON, TX- The Kent Johnson baseball complex is supposed to be undergoing renovations to make the park more accommodating to children who play there. 

Just recently, those plans came to a temporary halt after contractors presented an estimate to city commissioners they say is way outside the ball park range they were wanting to pay. 

However, the City wants to assure residents they are doing everything they can to make this project happen. 

There are four fields at the complex with one small inconvenience that's been lingering for years.

"We lack one critical component which is a nice facility where people can use the restroom or buy a coke," City Manager Randy Criswell said. 

A solution was drawn up on a blue print and included the addition of public restrooms and a concession stand.  They are two amenities baseball fan Rob Woods has been looking forward to for years.  

"When people come to the ballpark, they want to have a quality concession stand where they can get food at and restrooms that are clean," he said. "It's not always easy to do that with portable restrooms." 

The City saw the need for renovations too, allocating up to $650,000 to complete the project which had been on the city council's radar for years. Now, it might be on their agenda a bit longer after  commissioners were thrown a curve ball. 

"We had three bids come in," Criswell said. "They were all over $1 million." 

The price tag sent this project back to drawing board to see if the cost could be brought down. Although Criswell is optimistic they'll be able to trim the expense by a few hundred thousand dollars, he says there's no need to worry about the project falling apart just yet. 

He says the City is 100-percent committed to this project and doesn't want to cut corners when it comes time for construction. 
"You really only get one chance to do something right and that's the first time," he said. "After that, you only will wish you had done it right the first time." 

The City doesn't want to completely redesign their blueprint. An architect is now looking at the project once again to see if they can eliminate unnecessary costs. 

After that evaluation is complete, bidding will re-open again to contractors. 

Criswell says if the new bids for the project still don't fall within their $650,000 budget this time around, he says the City will do all they can to look at other funding options. 

The project was scheduled to be complete this upcoming spring, but Criswell says they are looking at a summer finish date. 

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