Leaders of the Scott Hall Field of Dreams organization have selected GE Johnson Construction Co. as their general contractor and HB&A as the architectural firm for one of Colorado’s largest youth sports complexes, set to break ground in summer 2016.
The Scott Hall Field of Dreams foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established with the purpose of constructing a sports complex on approximately 60 acres of undeveloped city-owned property north of Old Ranch Road and west of North Powers Boulevard.
Scott Hall was a Colorado Springs resident and married father of three who was active in the local youth sports scene. Hall died of cancer in 2012.
Field of Dreams has also partnered with Maxletics, a Colorado Springs-based company that assists in fundraising efforts.
“We’ve made great strides and have several million dollars committed,” said Executive Director Craig Ochs, who added “other significant sources” are expected to commit additional funds in the next month.
“I feel really good about where we are at on the capital side. Our goal was to have (Phase I) tied up by Dec. 1 and I think we’re in a position to accomplish that now.”
Ochs said the fundraising goal for Phase I is $20 million, although that is more than is needed to complete the approximately $16 million project.
The project’s first phase will include a mix of turf fields and baseball and softball diamonds.
“I want to be primed for Phase II and hit the ground running,” Ochs said of the additional capital.
Phase II is an “open canvas,” he said, and could cost anywhere between $15 and $30 million, depending on amenities, which could include an ice rink. Ochs said additional capital will also go to pay for an endowment with the intent to honor Hall’s passion for reaching out to underserved youth.
The new fields will house Academy Little League, which left its former location due to a development conflict with Focus on the Family, which wants to lease the open space to retail developers.
Academy Little League will use the new complex and could benefit the facility via grants and fundraising.
The property on the northeast side of town was set aside by the city specifically for development of athletic facilities and was named for Lawrence “Larry” Ochs, Craig’s grandfather and mayor of Colorado Springs from 1975-79.
Phase II is planned to begin in 2017, and will include indoor facilities and additional ball fields.
The project will be “design-build” and the public will be given opportunities to weigh in on the plan. Ochs said the public input schedule will be driven by the city’s master planning process, but should start in November and last four to five months.
“I’m really excited to see what the public brings,” Ochs said.
Youth sports affiliates (in addition to Academy Little League) that plan to utilize the fields include Rush and Pride soccer clubs, the Grizzlies Rugby Club, Patriot Lacrosse and Pop Warner Football.
The foundation commissioned a project impact study with Colorado Springs-based Summit Economics, which was completed earlier this year.
The study reported a regional population of just more than 675,000 and, of that, more than 168,000 are younger than 18 years old. The study said that 365,000 young athletes live within a 90-minute commute of the proposed site as of 2014.
The report estimated total annual visitor spending of about $20 million upon stabilization five years after the first phase is completed.