Bond projects moving forward in 2015

In News by Reporter News

Construction at the city’s well used and often overcrowded library will kick off the second year of implementation of the city’s $24 million in bond projects next month.

The library is expected to continue its regular operation during construction, staff said.

Construction plans are nearing completion and plans for utility tie-ins are being completed, city staff reported.

“We hope to have construction plans out in the public for advertising (for bids) in January,” assistant City Manager Morad Kabiri told the council at its December meeting.

Meanwhile, the city has received a number of proposals for construction manager at risk for the expansion of Fire Station No. 4 and the construction of a new fire station to be located behind the city’s Public Safety Building. Those proposals have been vetted, Kabiri said, and a recommendation will likely be presented to City Council at its scheduled January meeting.

Plans for sports park improvements are still pending, he reported.

“We have not finalized all the plans out there,” Kabiri said. “We have a layout that’s been presented both to the parks board as well as the Girls Softball Association. We’re looking to put four softball fields at the facility along with two concession stands and restroom facilities. Those plans we hope to have completed soon, so it doesn’t impact the next season of girls’ softball.”

Lighting improvements and a detention pond at Centennial Park are complete, and a design for a new basketball pavilion are under way.

City Council approved a design in November approved a design contract for Lake Friendswood in November, with Coldspring, Texas-based landscape architect Wilson McLain PLLC. Kabiri said he expects the design process to take about 6 months, with construction likely beginning in the third quarter of 2015.

Also known as Lake Windemere, Lake Friendswood is located off Windemere Road and FM 518. The city owns most of the 40-acre lake, which has long been closed off to the public. Plans include walking trail, crushed concrete roadway and parking lot, ditch improvements, restroom and floating fishing pier system.

In Stevenson Park, the city continues to work on property acquisition for a planned trail system as well as a pedestrian bridge that would span Cowart’s Creek.

“There are improvements that are under way right now with regard to lighting at the tennis court and the basketball court,” he said.

Construction is continuing on Whispering Pines Avenue and Friendswood Link with no major hiccups yet, city staff reports.

The first of three rounds of funding that will bring improvements to the city’s fire stations, streets, parks and library began this year with work totaling $9.65 million.

Friendswood leaders opted to implement the city’s bond programs with a 7-year timeline. The approved 7-year plan funds projects in three rounds, the first taking on the new fire station design, library expansion and Centennial Park improvements.

Bond proposals approved include roughly $6.5 million for public safety, $7.3 million in parks projects, $2.5 million in library renovations and approximately $7.7 in street improvements.

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