Grapevine City Council moves forward with plans for new public safety building

12/09/2013 4:03 PM

12/09/2013 4:05 PM

At a Dec. 3 City Council workshop, members gave a thumbs up to designs presented by Dallas-based Brinkley Sargent for a new public safety building.

On Nov. 6, 2012, voters approved a general obligation bond issue for the proposed sale of nearly $70 million in bonds for the two projects. One was for the new public safety building — accounting for nearly $40 million — and the other was for improvements to the city’s Community Activities Center.

On May 21, the City Council awarded Brinkley Sargent the architecture contract for the public safety building.

A previous presentation by Hal Sargent met with disapproval by some council members and especially Mayor William D. Tate, who thought the stark design looked too much like a hospital or a sterile big-city office building. They asked the firm to return with a design more in keeping with Grapevine’s historic look.

Sargent showed them at the Dec. 3 workshop a style that incorporated many of the city’s elements, including City Hall. Sargent said they strove for a classic 1880s-1920s overall look with modern touches. Everyone at the workshop was receptive.

Sargent said afterward that construction at the site on Ira E. Woods Avenue is expected to begin next December.

Last year, voters gave their approval when presented with two propositions.

Proposition No. 1 was for bonds to construct a 108,000-square-foot public safety building to house the city’s municipal court, police detention center, law enforcement facilities and fire headquarters.

Proposition No. 2 was for bonds to add 60,000 square feet to the recreation center. It will include a senior center, indoor pool, multipurpose rooms, game room, lockers, meeting rooms and other amenities. Plans are to move the senior activities center there.

At the workshop, the City Council also heard ideas on roadway landscape architecture and signage for new entrances to the city that would provide a more welcoming atmosphere. The clock and flower motif in Las Colinas was cited as a prime example of how to make a visual impact.

Suggestions for Grapevine included foliage in shades of purple to mirror the grapes in the city logo. Councilmembers gave their impressions and will continue hearing other ideas.

During the regular City Council meeting, P.W. McCallum, executive director of the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau, gave an update on plans for promoting the city in the coming year that hinged on the city’s many national and international awards.

One featured award was the recognition of Grapevine as a 2012 IFEA (International Festival & Events Association) World Festival and Event City winner. Grapevine was presented the award for cities in the “Under 1 Million Population” category.

Negatives mainly hinged on issues created by the DFW Connector Project.

In new business, the City Council unanimously authorized the purchase of playground custom equipment from The PlayWell Group for GRACE (Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange) at 610 Shady Brook Drive. .

The City Council also gave the OK to award construction of a Nash Farm fence to Sundance Fence & Iron, with appropriation of funds from the unencumbered fund balance of the Convention & Visitors Bureau fund. Previous discussions had generated some debate, with the mayor expressing concern about the proposed height and some materials. He said that the fence presentation that evening was a good “compromise.”

The City Council also heard a concept plan for the Wall-Farrar Nature Park. The city has received a $200,000 grant from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for Phase I of the park that will be located to the south of the Church of the Cross in south Grapevine. Phase I will include soft surface interpretive trails, bridges, a small shelter, signage and landscaping. The city would provide additional funds.

In other City Council news, five presentations were made:

• Texas Turfgrass Association presented the Softball Field of the Year Award for Oak Grove Softball Field G.
• National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds presented the Guest Rated “A” designation for The Vineyards Campground & Cabins.
• Texas Recreation & Park Society — North Region presented the Excellence in Maintenance Award for the skid dock concept at Lake Grapevine. A skid dock is a dock and gangway system that slides up and down as the lake level fluctuates.
• Texas Recreation & Park Society — North Region presented the Recreation Facility Design Excellence Award for Dove Waterpark.
• Texas Recreation & Park Society — North Region presented the Committee's Choice Award for Casey’s Clubhouse.

“It is an honor to be recognized by our peers in the state of Texas as the best,” said Kevin Mitchell, Grapevine Parks and Recreation assistant director of parks. “Watching kids of all ages enjoy the parks and facilities we have built is the best award.”

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