Councilmembers Derrick Reed (left), Gary Moore (center) and Keith Ordeneaux (right).
Moments after Pearland city leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony, soccer and lacrosse league players rushed onto the fields to celebrate the long-anticipated opening of the new Hickory Slough [pronounced HICK-ory Sl-OOH] Sportsplex Saturday (Oct. 3).
“It’s been a long wait but I’m very excited that children and adults now have a place to play soccer both day and night,” Brian Talbot, President of the Pearland United Youth Soccer Club said.
Funded as part of a bond proposal approved by voters in 2007,the new sportsplex features six multipurpose sports fields (three of which are fully-lighted), a concession stand, restrooms, a large shade canopy and parking for up to 400 vehicles.
“In addition to regular practices, we hope to host soccer tournaments here in the future,” Talbot said. “We’re also happy the fields will be available for the lacrosse teams to practice and have scrimmages. Lacrosse is an emerging sport in this area and the Pearland league is growing quickly.”
Ron Dunklee, President of the Pearland Youth Lacrosse League, said the fields were a big step forward for the city’s youth sports teams in general.
“I’m thrilled our teams now have access to professional-level lighted fields,” Dunklee said. “We’ve been holding practices on a small lot near Turner High School for several years. This is a huge step up for our teams and we appreciate the investment city leaders have made in Pearland’s student athletes.”
Design and construction costs for the sportsplex project totaled approximately $7.9 million, which included a detention pond and a road extension.
MHI Partnership, a private land developer, contributed $600,000 for the extension of Hughes Ranch Road between Max Road and Stone Road and donated adjacent land for a water detention facility. In addition, the Brazoria County Drainage District #4 provided $2 million to help co-fund the cost of the detention pond facility, which will also provide detention for nearby subdivisions. And, the Pearland Economic Development Corporation provided another $700,000 toward the project after rising construction costs created a funding shortfall.
“When voters approved the bond in 2007, the cost of construction was a lot less expensive” Mayor Tom Reid said. “The council was challenged to find funding for this project. But with staff support we were able to create a plan and find a way to make it happen.
“This sportsplex is one of those quality of life issues we often talk about and I know the people of Pearland will enjoy this park for many years to come,” Reid said.
The Hickory Slough Sportsplex is located at 7600 Hughes Ranch Road.