Photo courtesy of Robin Schultz/Bluff Park Drone
Hoover Metropolitan Complex Jan 2017
City officials are proposing some design changes for the sports fields to be built next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and the adjacent Finley Center now under construction.
Hoover city officials are proposing changes to the design of the $80 million sports complex being built next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and working on a deal for Signature Homes and/or U.S. Steel to donate 170 more acres of parkland along the Cahaba River.
City Administrator Allan Rice said city officials want to tweak the layout of the sports complex to ensure that the five soccer/football/lacrosse fields are NCAA-regulation size and to provide more space between those fields and the five NCAA-regulation size baseball fields.
In related matters, the city is working on a land deal with the Hoover Board of Education, Signature Homes and U.S. Steel to provide better traffic flow in the areas around the sports complex, Hoover High School, Trace Crossings Elementary School and Bumpus Middle School, Rice said.
That deal would involve the annexation and rezoning of land near the sports complex, he said.
The idea being considered is to build a new road connecting Hoover High School and Bumpus Middle School and a new road connecting Hoover High School and Trace Crossings Elementary School with Stadium Trace Parkway, Rice said.
That would provide three ways to get from Hoover High School to Stadium Trace Parkway and two ways to get from Trace Crossings Elementary to Stadium Trace Parkway, he said. Right now, all the traffic going to those two schools and the school bus maintenance facility is funneled through Learning Lane, creating congestion in peak periods.
Residential development and park donation
Because U.S. Steel and Signature Homes own some of the property in question, the city is considering a deal that would allow Signature Homes to spread out its residential development more on land between the sports complex and the Cahaba River, Rice said.
However, Signature Homes would not be adding more homes than already approved for the Lake Wilborn and Blackridge developments — just spreading the homes out more, Rice said.
And “we’re not going to build homes down on the banks of the Cahaba River,” he said.
The deal also would involve the donation of 170 acres of parkland along the Cahaba River to protect the river from development and provide a linear recreational space with trails along the river, Rice said.
The ideas being considered are in keeping with a Cahaba River plan designed by the Freshwater Land Trust, he said. City officials plan to meet with the executive director of the Freshwater Land Trust within the next two weeks to discuss the park and trail proposal, Rice said.
City officials do not expect the design changes to the sports complex to exceed the $80 million bond issue amount approved in June of last year, Rice said.
“Our goal is to spend less or the same while getting more,” he said. “There’s always the possibility we might have to spend a little more, but if we wind up spending any more, it would be a slight increase because we’re doing more.”
The city also is inviting nearby neighborhoods and the general public to a meeting at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium on Thursday, Feb. 9, to discuss the proposed changes to the sports complex, road construction and residential development ideas and park plans. That meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Michael Jordan Banquet Room.
The Hoover City Council on Monday plans to consider changes in its construction management contract with Brasfield & Gorrie and its design and engineering contract with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood concerning the second phase of the sports complex, which includes the sports fields and tennis complex.
The city wants to remove the parts of the contract that involve the second phase and allow the Hoover Parks and Recreation Board to enter into “design/build contracts” instead, Rice said.
Design/build contracts do not require a bid process and are not subject to change orders, he said. Instead, the park board would enter into a contract with a construction manager for a set price and allow that contractor to handle negotiations with subcontractors on its own, he said.
The City Council cannot legally enter into design/build contracts, but the park board can, Rice said. Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, which technically is owned by the Hoover Parks and Recreation Board, was built in a similar manner, he said.