The Town Council adopted an Intergovernmental Agreement with the School District providing more than $1.2 million to design and construct new sports fields with lighting systems at the new K-8 school, currently under construction on Rancho Sahuarita Boulevard, just south of Sahuarita Road. The Town and the School District will coordinate the use of the park facilities and parking lots, with the parks open to residents evenings and weekends. The partners will also share maintenance duties to assure the facilities are maintained in accordance with town standards.
Town Manager L. Kelly Udall, commented on the partnership, saying “we’ve had such great success in the past partnering with the School District to bring additional recreational amenities to the community by leveraging our collective resources.” Examples include the community park at Anza Trail School, and several programs at Copper View Elementary School, including the open gym, open swim, and summer open recreation programs. “One of our Strategic Plan goals is to explore joint facility uses with our partners; I’m proud to say this project is a manifestation of that goal – it’s a win-win for everyone involved,” said Udall.
The project adds an additional three sports fields – one multi-use sport field and two multi-use diamonds (for baseball or softball) – to the Town’s thirteen available fields. The multi-use diamonds will be lighted, increasing the total number of useable fields after dark to fifteen. “That’s one field per 1,800 residents, which far exceeds the national average of one field per 9,000 residents as reported by the National Recreation and Park Association” said Debbie Summers, Parks and Recreation Director. Two new lighted sports fields were opened at Quail Creek Veterans Municipal Park in 2016 to help meet the demand for youth sport practice fields. The addition of the new multi-use sports fields will help meet the demand for practice space and enhance the quality of life for residents.
Dr. Manuel Valenzuela, Sahuarita Unified School District Superintendent, had this to say about the partnership, “This project exemplifies the promise of possibilities when organizations intentionally strive to find common interests, and leverage their respective resources, in order to deliver a higher quality and more cost-effective level of service than either entity could deliver acting strictly within its own organization and only with its own resources. I am grateful to the Town for our ongoing spirit of collaboration that binds us together in a commitment to serving the community in an excellent way."
The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018, just in time for the 2018/2019 school year and fall sport leagues.