Community Environment Government

Gig Harbor Council accepts feasibility study for Sports Complex Phases 2 and 3

Posted on March 13th, 2024 By:

The Gig Harbor City Council moved a step toward making the Sports Complex a reality by accepting a feasibility study for its Phases 2 and 3 in a 5-1 vote on Monday, March 11.

Council member Jeni Woock voted against adopting the study. Council member Roger Henderson was absent, while Mary Barber, Ben Coronado, Le Rodenberg, Seth Storset and Brenda Lykins voted in favor.

Consulting firm BCRA Engineers conducted the feasibility study. It included meetings with representatives from several youth sports groups, the Peninsula School District, the YMCA, the Gig Harbor Peninsula Youth Sports Coalition and the city parks commission.

The city also hosted several open house events, including a meeting last summer at the Peninsula Light baseball fields on the sports complex site.

Phases 2 and 3

BCRA estimated total construction costs for the sports complex project at approximately $20.4 million. Phase 2 construction came in at $8.8 million and Phase 3 at $11.6 million.

Construction of Phase 1 of the project is scheduled to begin later this year. Last week, a group of people salvaged native plants from the Phase 1 site in advance of clearing the land.

Phase 2 includes improving the current Little League fields to add turf and to re-line them for multiple uses.

Phase 3 includes developing 7 acres of forested land into two lighted, turfed fields for soccer, football or lacrosse. The Phase 3 site is located just to the south of the Tom Taylor Family YMCA on Harbor Hill Drive.

The feasibility study concluded that the sports complex project is doable. But it also recommended that the city work with the YMCA to finalize details and to conduct a study to determine estimated maintenance costs and anticipated revenue.

Woock’s ‘no’ vote

Woock voted against the feasibility study for several reasons, including the projected cost of Phases 2 and 3 and the need to remove more than 800 trees to build the additional phases.

“In October 2023, the council unanimously approved the Urban Forestry Management Plan and committed the city to increasing the city’s tree cover,” Woock said in an email. “So I can’t justify the destruction of 827 trees that will be destroyed.”

She added that the study found that the city has neither identified a public partner nor projected operational costs for phases 2 and 3. “But turf fields need to be replaced about every 10 years.

“Here we have a project, not knowing how much it will cost, no public partner, no idea of income, no operational costs. Until there are some real-life financials on this feasibility study, the study is incomplete. For this lack of financials, I cannot support this resolution,” she said.

Other business

  • The council renewed a lease with the state Department of Natural Resources to allow for continued public use of aquatic lands at the Maritime Pier. This includes use of the pier and associated tidelands. The lease runs through June 27, 2034.
  • Police Chief Kelly Busey introduced the city’s new volunteer police chaplain, Gary Rudd. Rudd replaces retiring Chaplain Roger Roth, who served the city for 23 years. Rudd will split his time between the police and fire departments, Busey said.
  • The City Council will next meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 25, at the civic center on Grandview Street.