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Sports Complex Makeover

By Lindsay Houts, consultant to Pavestone Company

These crewmembers from American Interlock and Modular Construction Company are installing the 4-piece mosaic Pavestone Venetian Stone product. At left the crew has snapped the red chalk line to lay the border off. Although there appears to be a ''straight'' concrete edge restraint in place, straight concrete work very rarely turns out to be perfectly straight. Since the entire pattern will be laid off the border, the crew has taken precautions to ensure that their work will line up geometrically perfect, thus guaranteeing a perfectly square pattern that only adds to the integrity of the interlock system. Images courtesy of Grapevine Parks and Recreation Department

Rain bird
Came America BCI Burke Company

Nestled into a 40-acre park along the shores of Grapevine Lake, the 50+ year-old Oak Grove Ballfield complex needed updating. As a result, Grapevine, Texas city officials seized on an opportunity to create a world-class baseball facility in a scenic location that would be used for years to come.

The city selected HNTB to act as the prime consultant for the design of the project, with a primary goal being that the new facility would honor both Grapevine's heritage and to import existing native elements into the proposed design. Designers worked alongside the City Council Facilities Committee, Corps of Engineers, nearby residents and city staff to identify the most efficient and least impactful location for all the components of the anticipated facilities.

''The city council wanted a high-end facility, and toured almost every sports complex in the state,'' Kevin Mitchell, the Assistant Director of Parks for Grapevine Parks and Recreation, explained, ''What the council found was that they didn't want huge slabs of white concrete.''

One of the most important design aspects to everyone involved was a space void of bright white concrete. The Ballfield Complex is a quilt of stone banding, colored concrete, pavers, and textured concrete.

Hardscape Usage

One of the unique features of the refurbished complex is the use of multiple types of paving; stone banding, colored concrete, pavers, and textured concrete all complement each other.

Landscape Architect Samit Patel, formerly of HNTB and currently with SJPLA Design, said the various paving types served a distinct purpose.

''The change in paving was used to help define separate spaces within the park,'' Patel said. ''Primary walkways were treated different than secondary walkways. Field viewing areas were treated different from common gathering areas which were treated different from central gathering areas.''

Opting for a more finished look, the Oak Grove Ballfield Complex uses native sandstone extensively throughout the site on various signs, columns, walls, planters, banding, and kiosks, all to honor the native sandstone which exists along the shores of the lake.

The complex includes more than 20,000 square feet of Pavestone products, with 16,000 square feet of Pavestone Venetian Stone(TM) concrete pavers, and 6,000 square feet of Anchor(TM) Diamond Pro(R) retaining wall system. The installation was without incident, and the finished product was ultimately exactly what the city council had hoped for - a beautiful, functional facility, void of expanses of bright white concrete.

''Using a single paver type and color would have created a monotonous feel,'' Patel said. ''By changing the material, color and texture, you change the look which helps to keeps things more visually stimulating. Of course, we had to be careful not to do too many things. That would have created visual chaos.''

Patel added, ''The use of different paving types and treatments helps to reinforce the hierarchy of spaces. This not only visually helps to define the spaces for the users, but also texturally.''

Construction crews are preparing to pour the reinforced concrete plaza paving that runs adjacent to the concrete paver area. This plaza paving was placed with 3000-PSI concrete reinforced with #3 rebar placed 18'' O.C.E.W. Notice the left edge of the form work. The area has been excavated lower to allow for a ''thickened edge'' that will resist the severe slope eliminating the need of any landscape walls.

Interlocking Paver System

In addition to the array of paving types, the project highlighted the use of the interlocking paver system, according to Randy Miller, president of American Interlock and Modular Construction Company.

''(This project) is bringing public eye to the possibilities of the interlocking concrete paver system, which is growing ever more popular in North Texas where plastic elastic soils continually degrade reinforced concrete causing costly repairs to pavements involving further excavations and new placements of pavements,'' Miller said. ''When these situations arise, we are seeing the public replacing these deteriorated pedestrian concrete pavements with flexible interlocking concrete paver systems that last forever when installed professionally, and add aesthetics to the areas applied.''

Miller noted that this project also utilized the Anchor(TM) Diamond Pro(R) Retaining Wall System, allowing for the new contours of the park's improvements.

''At first, most of the walls were assumed to be approximately four-foot tall at best, with a max 3:1 slope either behind or in front of the walls,'' Miller said. ''As in most cases, there are always a few 'grade busts' in projects covering a larger area of land.''

Miller continued, ''when we found out that there were conditions requiring the landscape walls to be built as tall as seven-foot tall, the engineers and architects grew nervous as they didn't want to introduce a new material into the landscape. We quickly assured them not to worry, as these modular retainer walls could be engineered to build them as tall as we needed them to be. Fortunately, in Grapevine, the native soils are perfect soils to be placed and compacted in the structural zones, eliminating any exports of clays, and imports of select fills that drive up the cost of construction.''

Project Origins

Built in the 1950s, the Oak Grove Ballfield Complex had become outdated and unsafe. Though Grapevine had been one of the first cities in its region with baseball fields, the facility was showing its age and needed an extraordinary remodel. Fields were essentially overlapping and consistently flooded, and the complex was increasingly difficult to maintain. It no longer met the needs of the community, and as neighboring cities improved their own sports complexes, the city of Grapevine decided to act. When Grapevine voters passed a sales tax increase in 2006 to fund ''Quality of Life'' projects for the city, plans for a new baseball and softball complex began.

Construction on the Oak Grove Ballfield Complex began June 1, 2008, and was completed by the dedication on Saturday, May 2, 2009, with more than 1,200 Grapevine citizens attending the Opening Day Ceremony. The completed complex includes a new restroom and concession building that includes tournament office space, an umpire changing room, storage space, a separate maintenance building and compound, parking lots, playground, batting cages, and pedestrian food court plaza with a stage. All nine ball fields include covered terraced bleacher seating picnic tables, open seating areas, net backstops, wireless scoreboards and scorer's tables, dugouts, bullpens, warning tracks, soft-toss stations, and warm-up areas.


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November 19, 2019, 10:27 pm PDT

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