|The Township has been actively renovating its large parks for many years. Approximately every two years a Village or Townwide Park is selected for a major renovation. In 2012 Sawmill Park was identified and the renovations included- updating the pool, adding parking, adding a 5th tennis court, moving the basketball court and volleyball court to improve flow and updating the pavilion structure. In 2014, Shadowbend Park was identified and the renovations included: updating the pool pump systems, adding a pool pavilion, sprayground, additional parking, adding a tennis pavilion and sportfield lights. Each renovation was approximately $1.2 million.
The 2015 Budget identifies Northshore Park as the next major park renovation project. Northshore Park is a 7 acre facility located in the Village of Panther Creek and is located directly on Lake Woodlands. The park is distinguished by its location on the water and serves the community as a “Townwide Park" but actually serves the area as a regional park. It is host to a number of community and regional events during the year including but not limited to: Concerts in the Park, Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas, CB&I Triathlon, Earth Day, YMCA Dragon Boat Team Challenge, National Night Out, community walks/runs, community picnics, barbecues and corporate outings. The park includes a band stand/stage, two pavilions that are used for reservations and a pavilion that overlooks the Lake. In addition, there is a playground (for 2-5 year old children & 5-12 year old children modules and swings), two volleyball courts, five docks - two of which belong to the rowing clubs, an internal pathway system, a large grass area for community events and general leisure activities, a large picnic area with numerous picnic tables and grills, and a restroom facility. Finally, the park includes a “boat house” which is the home to two rowing clubs- The Rowing Club of The Woodlands and Parati Competitive Rowing, which are subject to the terms of the Ground Lease Agreement.
The rowing community has utilized a portion of Northshore Park for approximately 25 years to store their boats, supplies and to conduct Learn to Row programs and regattas. The two rowing clubs have been working well together for the past two years to develop a plan to renovate the facilities from their existing shipping and storage containers to a more suitable facility for their needs and one that would fit in with the aesthetics of the park and community.
At the Board’s January 2015 meeting a renewal of the ground lease with the clubs was approved through February 28, 2016, due in part of the status of the renovation of the park and the Clubs' combined efforts to address their long term needs for a facility. The rowing clubs have presented a proposal that indicates they will be responsible for all costs (design, construction, contingency, etc.) related to a new boat house/rowing facility. (Attachment A)
The draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for Professional Design Services for the Northshore Park Renovation (Attachment B) includes in the scope of services the boat house/rowing facility in the overall re-design of the park; however, this specific aspect of services can be removed if the Board so determines. The clubs would enter into a supplemental agreement with the selected consultant for the portion of the park renovation design related to the rowing facility/boat house. If the Board determines to proceed with including a boat house in the design process, a term sheet would be prepared to address design services and funding, construction access and subsequent long-term/ 20 year Ground Lease Agreement.
The renovation design phase schedule includes presenting design proposals to the Board in June for consideration, along with related agreements with the rowing clubs, and upon selection of the design firm and contract negotiation, initiate the design process. The design process will include a number of public outreach and input methods including meetings with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Council, Panther Creek Village Association, Windward Cove Homeowner's Association, Herald Oaks neighborhood and general public input collection. The consultant would present design concepts to the Board in late 2015 for review and approval. Award of bid for this project would be targeted for April 2016, with a construction schedule that would be developed to reduce the impact on the major events in the park and community functions, i.e. Texas Ironman, CB&I Triathlon, Red, Hot and Blue, etc.