Colorado Springs’ Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department, in partnership with the Scott Hall Field of Dreams Foundation, is seeking the community’s input to assist in developing a master plan for the Larry Ochs Sports Complex. The first in a series of community meetings will take place tomorrow, Nov. 12 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Pine Creek High School, 10750 Thunder Mountain Ave.
This first meeting will focus on presenting information about the property, sharing of issues and concerns, and the identification of successful outcomes,” according to a news release from the city. “Individuals and groups across our community are encouraged to attend and help shape the future of the Larry Ochs Sports Complex.”
A second workshop will follow on Jan. 2o to review design alternatives for the master plan. A third meeting is scheduled for Feb. 17 for public review of a draft master plan. Both meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Creek High School.
“During the overall Parks System Master Plan update in 2014, the city heard a strong desire from our community to provide additional facilities for sports fields, particularly in the northern part of Colorado Springs,” the release stated. “With the increase of teams participating in a variety of sports, field time is becoming more of a challenge to reserve. The development of the Larry Ochs Sports Complex will allow the Parks Department to better meet the needs of the community.”
The complex is intended to provide space for organized field sports — baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, football. While the primary emphasis for the master plan is on facility development, the project site may provide opportunities for additional recreation facilities such as playgrounds, trails and natural areas.
The Scott Hall Field of Dreams Foundation is a 501(c)3 established to promote youth sports participation and youth sports facility development in northern Colorado Springs. Its goal is to promote youth sports participation and facility development through a cooperative effort of private and public resources. The Scott Hall Field of Dreams Foundation is pursuing private funds to build the Larry Ochs Sports Complex.
Hall was a Colorado Springs resident, a married father of three and an active youth sports coach. He died unexpectedly of cancer in October 2012.
The 501(c)3 nonprofit is committed to constructing the sports complex on approximately 60 acres of undeveloped city-owned property north of Old Ranch Road and west of North Powers Boulevard. The property was set aside by the city for development of athletic facilities.
In September, the foundation selected GE Johnson Construction Co. as its general contractor and HB&A as the architectural firm. The project is expected to break ground in summer 2016.
The first phase of the two-phase project is expected to cost approximately $16 million.That phase will develop a mix of turf fields and baseball and softball diamonds. Phase II could cost anywhere between $15 and $30 million, depending on amenities, which could include an ice rink. Phase II is planned to begin in 2017, and is expected to include indoor facilities and additional ball fields.
Craig Ochs, executive director of the foundation, is the grandson of Larry Ochs, who served as mayor of Colorado Springs from 1975-1979.Craig was born in Colorado Springs, graduated from Fairview High School in Boulder and played quarterback for the University of Colorado in the early 2000s. He went on to play in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills.
“I’m a big believer in youth sports,” Craig told the Business Journal in an interview in May. “It’s very much needed in society and the community. Right now there’s lots of community synergy and a strong belief in this project. And it has my grandfather’s name attached, so there’s sentimental value as well. A big portion is building the necessary support financially and politically to get the project off the ground. We don’t want to go the public financing route. We would like to fund-raise privately even though this would be built on [city] land.”