Community Government

Open house provides chance to learn about sports complex

Posted on May 6th, 2022 By:

An informational open house on Saturday, May 7, will give the public a chance to learn more about the sports complex planned for Gig Harbor North near Costco and the YMCA.

The open house will be held at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview St., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

There is no formal agenda, but city staff members will be on hand to discuss plans for the complex. Staffers include senior engineer Aaron Hulst, who will provide information about phase 1B of the complex; and parks administrator Matt Keough, who will provide an overview of the entire project. Several city council members are also planning to attend.

“Saturday’s Open House is the first step in reestablishing what I hope will be a robust community education plan going forward with the sports complex,” Mayor Tracie Markley said. “It will be a staff-led, informational opportunity for the community to learn the history of this project, where we are today and what is planned for the future.”

Phases of the project

Jessie Palmer from the Tom Taylor Family YMCA will discuss the plan for Phase 1A, which includes two new multi-use synthetic turf fields that can be used for soccer, football, lacrosse and other field sports. Also included in this phase are 100 parking stalls, restrooms and a concession building.

Sign stating future home of Gig Harbor sports complex

Phases 1A and 1B of the sports complex will be between the YMCA and Costco on Harbor Hill Road. Ed Friedrich / Gig Harbor Now

The Y has leased the space from the city and is responsible for financing and developing the fields. Design and permitting will occur before June 2023 and construction is to be completed by December 2024, per the lease agreement.

The Y will also be responsible for operating and maintaining the Phase 1A fields. The fields will be available for public use when they’re not reserved for sports practices, games or other events.

The estimated cost for Phase 1A design and construction is $6.8 million. The city has allocated a $350,000 Recreation and Conservation Office Youth Athletic Facilities grant toward construction of the project.

Phase 1B, which the city will design and develop, includes pickleball courts, bocce ball courts, picnic shelters, a concession building and restrooms, a large event lawn and additional parking.

This area is located north of the YMCA. Design and permitting for phase 1B is underway. Numerous opportunities for public input on the design and environmental impact are planned.

Further expansion of the sports complex is planned for the future. The city council approved a master plan for the complex in 2018.

Petitions and studies

According to Keough, many public outreach events took place in 2013 and 2014.

“This open house is another opportunity to see the tentative design regarding land use,” he said. “It’s not a time when we’ll take (formal) public comment, but we’ll answer questions and we’ll talk about upcoming opportunities for public comment. We have a community engagement plan that provides many such opportunities.”

Gig Harbor Sports Complex Phase 1B

Gig Harbor Sports Complex Phase 1B Drawing courtesy of city of Gig Harbor

Keough added that the project will need to undergo extensive environmental review under the State Environmental Protection Act.

“The SEPA checklist includes things like the amount of light that will be emitted, cars, parking and other significant issues that affect the environment,” Keough said. “It’s very thorough.”

A group of Gig Harbor residents submitted petitions to the city, calling for new studies to examine the sports complex’s impact on the community. Representatives of the group that organized the petition drive have said a cumulative impact study should be performed, in addition to studying each phase individually.

Public comment opportunities

“This project underwent a lengthy public process several years ago, but I realize that many new families have moved into the area since then and have questions about the Sports Complex,” Markley said.

“We also had an unfortunate lapse in communication due to the pandemic. However, I am committed to open and transparent communication as this project moves forward. I hope the community will take full advantage of every open house and engagement opportunity.”

There will be future opportunities for community input and engagement later in May and possibly early June, Markey said.

Sports complex open house

What: Informational open house to learn more about the sports complex

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 7

Where: Civic Center, 3510 Grandview Street

Plans for the Gig Harbor Sports Complex.

Plans for the Gig Harbor Sports Complex. City of Gig Harbor