New Braunfels: Sports Complex, Police Station, Roads Top List in Saturday’s $120M Bond Package
Feature Illustration (above): Concept rendering of the proposed Fire Station #2. Courtesy: City of New Braunfels.
by Adolfo Pesquera
New Braunfels (Comal County) — Voters in New Braunfels head to the polls Saturday to decide on four propositions totaling $120 million, with the lion’s share of bond proceeds going to road improvements, a new police station and a long anticipated sports complex.
Proposition 1 asks residents to approve more than $44.5 million for the reconstruction of Goodwin/Conrads Lane, Klein Road and other citywide street improvements. The bond would leverage an additional $8 million in roadway impact fees, providing the city access to more than $52.5 million for street improvements.
Proposition 2 (Parks and Recreation) would provide more than $16.5 million for enhancements to an existing park to convert it to Callen’s Castle All Abilities Park for the disabled ($500,000); and wall stabilization at Comal Cemetery ($5.26 million). The historic cemetery is in danger of catastrophic erosion due to a natural bluff that is being washed away by the Guadalupe River.
Finally, Prop 2 will provide for the Phase 1 construction of the new Sports Field Complex ($10.78 million). The Sports Field Complex has an estimated cost much closer to $25.8 million, but the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation is contributing $15 million toward its development.
Voters are perhaps most aware of the Sports Field Complex owing to the prolonged planning process. Voters approved $86 million in the 2013 bond election to buy 154 acres for a future sports complex. The acquisition of a tract at Klein Road and FM 1044 took place in 2017.
Concept rendering of the New Braunfels sports field complex. Courtesy: City of New Braunfels.
Since then, landscape designers and civil engineers worked on a feasibility study that has gone through numerous revisions and includes several phases.
The scope of Phase 1 construction includes concession facilities, restrooms, shade structures, a large surface parking lot, four soccer fields, four baseball fields, and four softball fields.
Proposition 3 (Public Safety) has a total price tag of about $50.4 million. The new police department facility has an estimated cost of $36.3 million, but this includes the cost of purchasing the land. A location for the police station is still to be determined. It will replace the existing facility and include office space for all divisions, a public space, training room, vehicle maintenance bays for the fleet, evidence storage, a gym and other space for miscellaneous uses.
Concept rendering of the proposed New Braunfels Police Department. Courtesy: City of New Braunfels.
The remainder of proceeds would go to build two replacement fire stations. The four-bay, $7.25 million Fire Station 2 would be built on city-owned land on Water Lane. A three-bay, $6.5 million station would be built at the same location as Fire Station 3 on Hanz Drive.
Proposition 4 is dedicated to a $5.5 million expansion of the Westside Community Center to include a new public library branch.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.