Updates from Colorado Springs 3-Wall Courts

courts are playable

June 30, 2014

 

All,

I wanted to update everyone on the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony last Saturday. The weather was great, there were lots of people, and most importantly, outdoor handball is now being played in Colorado Springs! Thanks to all who attended the ceremony.  To those folks who came from out of town, I want to extend a special thanks. Without your support, this project would never have succeeded...

 

I was taking pictures on Saturday and I've added them to our project picture album. You can check them out on our picture web link: Here

 ribbon cutting

Obvious to those who attended and those who have seen the pictures of the courts, there are a couple of issues:

 

First, the ceiling is causing a lot of concern to many players. So if you were down here Saturday and or looking at the pictures and trying to figure out the logic in the ceiling design, don't. As I mentioned in previous emails, there was a design issue with it. Actually, the architect decided to raise the ceiling six inches so he could lower the lights to 20 feet?? Unfortunately, nobody bothered to let Lewie and I in on this brilliant decision. In addition, they did not include the revision change in the plans we were given to review the project. Consequently, we didn't know about the change from the Fort Collins plans and ours until they were installing the ceiling. Apparently, the architect and Parks and Recreation did not realize that the ceiling is actually part of the playing court. They thought the ceiling was to be used to keep handballs in the court and baseballs from flying onto the court. Pretty expensive ball shield!! Anyhow, they are aware of the problem, and are currently working on fixing things. We will make sure that a nice smooth ceiling surface will be available at 20 feet with no gaps for handballs to fly out of the court.

 

Second, there were some comments about the joint issues on the walls. I've been told many times by the architect and Parks and Rec that they will eventually be smooth. Right now they are researching the right material to use.

There were a lot of positive comments about the courts, and the good news is that the Mayor and Parks and Recreation are already talking about the possibility of more courts being built!

 

So, thank you all for your support. If you have any other comments about the courts, please let me know and I will pass them on.

 

Thanks,

Monty



June 20, 2014

All,

This is an update on the status of the Memorial Park Handball Courts Project.

 

I wanted to let everyone know that the dedication ceremony for the new tennis facility and the outdoor handball courts at Memorial Park is officially scheduled for next Saturday, June 28th. The draft schedule provided by Park staff is listed below.

 

This is a big event which will include the Mayor and City Council along with the local media. I'm hoping you all can attend to help show our appreciation...

 

The courts are still not complete. There are some issues with the ceiling which most likely will not be finished by next Saturday. We are not hosting a shootout tournament at this time, but please bring your gear and get some playing time on the new courts.

 

The location of the courts is at 1315 E Pikes Peak Ave directly west of the Tennis Center in Memorial Park: Google Link

 

An official invitation will be sent to me the first of the week. If anything changes, I will get the information to you.

 

Hope to see you Saturday morning June 28th!!

 

If you would like to see the latest on the courts, check out the picture web link: Here

 

Thanks,

Monty

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Below is a draft run of show for the event.

Start Time: 10:30 am (PR&CS staff, Mayor and Council members will be coming directly from a groundbreaking event at America the Beautiful park)

Location: Memorial Park Tennis and Handball Center (near the handball courts), 1315 E Pikes Peak Ave.

Agenda:

Welcome & Introductions (Karen Palus)

Mayor’s remarks (Mayor Steve Bach)

Tennis Association remarks (Anthony & Karen – Will one or both of you speak on behalf of the TA?)

Handball Club remarks (Monty Sims, Louis Lambert and Stan Wolpoff)

Ribbon-Cutting and Photo-Op (Karen Palus, Mayor Bach, Tennis reps, Handball reps)

Light refreshments served

The parks department will provide a podium/microphone as well as the ribbon and scissors for the ribbon cutting. Speakers will have 2-3 minutes each to make their comments.

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Colorado Springs - Status Update on the Memorial Park Handball Courts Project

October 22, 2013
This is an update on the status of the Memorial Park Handball Courts Project.

 

Good news!  Footers are in and walls are going up!  It looks like we are finally making some progress...

 

If you would like to keep up with the latest pictures, occasionally check out the following web link:   http://tinyurl.com/kf33pfj

 

Note:  If you are a Google/Gmail user, you may have problems getting to the link above.  If that is the case, copy the link, log out of your Google/Gmail account, paste this link into the URL line of your browser.  It should load correctly.  Google has some kind of bug with their own users!!

 

Anyhow, enjoy the pictures.  If you have any questions, let me know!

 

Thanks,

 

Monty
PS:  Here is a link to a Google map of the courts location

 

Click to see more of Monty's gallery 


Previous updates below

All,

Today (6/25/2013), the Colorado Springs City Council approved the $5.9 million Parks and Recreation funding appropriation by a vote of 8 to 1 in its second and final reading!!!  It looks like we will be playing outdoor 3-wall handball in Colorado Springs by this Fall...

I will be contacting Park staff to get an official timeline for this process.

As soon as I get some more information, I will pass it along!

Thanks,

Monty 



All of us at the CHA are proud of your hard work
to get these new courts!

 

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The following is from my June 11th email update.

All,

You'll be happy to know that City Council approved the $5.9 million Parks and Recreation funding appropriation by a vote of 8 to 1 in its first reading.  98% of all citizen and Council comments were very positive.  The second and final reading is scheduled for the next Council meeting on Tuesday June 25th.

If all goes well, we'll be playing outdoor handball in the fall...

Thanks,

Monty 

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The following is from my June 7th email update...

All,

I wanted to let you know that the Parks funding appropriation goes before City Council on Tuesday June 11th for the first reading.  This appropriation includes the funding for our 2 court 3-wall handball complex in Memorial Park.  It would be great if you could attend this meeting to show support for the courts.  The meeting starts at 1:00 pm.  

The link to the council agenda is: http://www.springsgov.com/council/2013/0611/RegularAgenda130611.pdf

The agenda looks pretty full and it looks like we are at the end of the agenda.  I talked with Park Staff and they said we should be there by 1:30.  They seemed to think that many of the items prior to ours would go very quickly.  But you never know, we could be there all afternoon.  Staff also mentioned that they have had discussions with six of the nine Council members and none of them had any issues with the appropriations.  The Parks Director, Karen Palus will present an overview of the proposal on Monday during the informal meeting.  No public input is allowed during this meeting.

It would be great to see some support for this great cause!  I don't think we will have any issues with this, but stranger things have happened.  

Also, the final vote will happen during the Council meeting on June 25th.

Thanks,

Monty

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The following is from my May 10th email update after the Parks Board approval

All,

I wanted to update you on the status of the outdoor 3-wall complex project in Memorial Park (Colorado Springs).  I attended the Parks Board meeting Thursday morning (May 9th) to see how we did with our funding for the 3-wall courts.  There was approximately $7 million dollars in projects.  Our handball courts were included and listed as $250,000.  Only one board member had an issue with the handball courts.  He fully supported the courts but did not feel it was appropriate use of the particular funding source.  The entire package was voted on as one motion.  All board members (%100) approved the motion.  The one board member asked that his concern about the funding source be noted.  He also wanted a future presentation from the board on the appropriate use of those funds.  

So..., all looks good!  The next step is City Council approval.  I talked with Park Staff about the timeline for this.  They hoped to get this on the agenda for the June 11th council meeting.  This will be the first reading.  The final vote would then be scheduled during the second reading on June 25th.  Right now these are tentative dates.  As soon as I get the official confirmation on this, I will be sending out another update.  Staff did mention that the most important meeting for supporters to attend would be on June 11th.  If you are in the area on June 11th, especially the local players, and can make this meeting, it would make a big impact with City Council.

The total funding for the project is:

Previous (2008) Allocations

City (TOPS)  - $50,000

City (PLDO) - $50,000

Handballers - $20,000

New Allocation (Today - 2013)

City (PLDO) - $250,000

Total funding: $370,000

The funds coming from the City are from a combination of our Trails and Open Spaces (TOPS) and a special fund from new area developments (PLDO).  These funds are designated for building new parks or new structures within existing parks.

After Council approves this, the City will be seeking bids on both pre-cast and poured in place walls.  Right now, staff is leaning towards poured in place.  If the bids come in lower, they will pour a pad on the east wall which can than be used for 1-wall and tennis warm up.  This is something that Lewie and I have been pushing.  Also, the tennis courts in Memorial Park (which is where our 3-wall complex will be located) will be getting a $1 million upgrade as part of the $7 million allocation.  

As soon as I have a confirmation on the Council date, I will send everyone an update.

Thanks,

Monty

Important Update to original story (below)

dateline: March 9, 2013

All,

I have an update on the Colorado Springs Parks Board meeting.  (There has been a date change for the board meeting.  Ed.)

Parks staff decided to place our presentation on the agenda for the April 11th Parks Board meeting.  In the next couple of weeks they want to review the details of our presentation and to coordinate efforts.  We're disappointed on the delay but also see this as positive.  Staff has always supported us on this project.

I just hope this doesn't cause availability problems for those coming down. 

As I said before, If you are in the area on April 11th, especially the local players, and can make this meeting, it would make a substantial impact on the Board.  Unfortunately, I cannot give you a specific time that we will be speaking.  The Parks Board meets from 7:30 am to around noon.  The meeting will be at the following location: 1401 Recreation Way.  The following link will take you to their agenda/minutes web site.  They are not always good at posting the agenda's prior to the meeting.  If we are an early agenda item, we could go on around 8:30.  If we are down on the list we could go on around 11:00.  You never know how long some items take.

If anything changes again, I'll let you know!

Thanks,

Monty  

Colorado Springs outdoor handball court update

dateline:  March 7, 2013

All,

I wanted to provide everyone an update about our one-wall project in Colorado Springs Acacia Park.  As you may recall, the Parks Board approved and budgeted the project in early 2011.  We provided a $20,000 check to the City Parks Department in September of 2011 with the understanding that we would begin construction of the one-wall court in the May 2012 time frame.  In March of 2012, the Parks Department submitted the paperwork downtown to begin the bid process for a construction contractor; unfortunately the project was put on hold.  At that time, it was unclear to Parks staff as to why the project was stopped.  This began an eleven month process of navigating the bureaucratic maze.  

To make a long story short, the project was stopped permanently by the Mayor of Colorado Springs.  The project was stopped due to a new downtown vitalization study which included the development of a new Master plan for Acacia Park.  Since our project was already approved by the Parks Board and on the current master plan for the park, the project cancellation created a considerable amount of confusion, frustration between the us, Parks Board, staff, City Council, and the Mayor’s office.  Please keep in mind that the voters had just approved a major change in the City's form of government which gave the elected Mayor more power.  This of course changed the way many internal processes were handled and approved.  In some cases, the process was unknown.  This put us in an interesting and challenging situation.  During 2012, Lewie and I, along with Jerry White and Joe Diver, attended many meetings with Park staff, Parks Board and the Mayor's office to argue our case, but in the end, we could not get the decision reversed.

Despite all of this, I think we came out on the positive side.  At the end of the 2012, Park staff came to us and recommended that we pursue a two court 3-wall project in Memorial Park.  This recommendation was based on the original project that Lewie and I proposed to the Parks Department back in 2003.  In 2008, we were successful in getting a four court 3-wall complex on the Master plan for Memorial Park.  At that time, we were unable to raise the funding for the complex.  That is the main reason that we changed directions and proposed a less costly option with the 1-wall court in Acacia Park.  At this time, Parks staff feel that they can procure the additional funding required to build the two 3-wall court complex.  The Parks Director assured us that the Mayor supports this effort.

The next step in the process is for the Parks Board to approve the new funding request.  Currently, we have two issues that we are dealing with.  First, the $400,000 cost estimate provided by City staff and an outside contractor for two courts has raised a few eyebrows with us along with the Parks Board.  Keep in mind that we are going from a $60,000 1-wall court to a $400,000 two court 3-wall complex.  The original contractor estimate in 2007 for two courts was $270,000.  We are currently working with staff to resolve this difference.  I think if we can get the cost down in the $270,000 range, the Parks Board will feel more comfortable. 

The second issue is that the Parks Board has a perception that the interest in handball is fading.  I don't know if that is the right word to use, but they are definitely concerned that if they build this complex, it will sit empty.  On April 11th (changed from March 14th), we will make a presentation to the Parks Board.  Since this Parks Board is made up of many new members, it will be our first opportunity to present what we are all about and to let them know that outdoor handball is flourishing.  If you are in the area on April 11th, especially the local players, and can make this meeting, it would make a substantial impact on the Board.  Unfortunately, I cannot give you a specific time that we will be speaking.  The Parks Board meets from 7:30 am to around noon.  The meeting will be at the following location: 1401 Recreation Way.  The following link will take you to their agenda/minutes web site.  They are not always good at posting the agenda's prior to the meeting.  If we are an early agenda item, we could go on around 8:30.  If we are down on the list we could go on around 11:00.  You never know how long some items take.  Right now, I'm trying to get confirmation that we are on the agenda and at what time.  If I find out anything specific, I will send out another update.

I apologize for not sending out earlier updates but things were changing every week.  Lewie and I talked many times about sending something out but about the time we were ready, everything would get turned upside down.   In an effort to keep the length of this email short, I've left out a lot of the details.  If you want to know more, you can always give me or Lewie a call.  You can also check out the meeting minutes on the web site above.  On the 'Archive minutes for 2012' you can read the minutes for June 14th, July 12th and November 8th.  This will give you an idea of what we have been through.

Lewie and I continue to fight the process.  Rest assured, our $20,000 is safe and we continue to do battle! 

Thanks,

Monty  Home Phone:  (719) 390-3442  Cell: (719) 648-1908

Lewie  Cell:  (719) 338-2183