We received a huge response for the need for shade structures in Balcones Park. Now, we need your feedback again! Since that petition was submitted, we have been very busy working with the City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department, the Austin Parks Foundation, and the Neighborhood Partnering Program to explore our options and apply for grants to make this goal happen.
Originally, the goal of the project was to add shade at the pool and basketball court. However that changed quickly when the petition brought in a large number of requests for shade at the playground as well.
After many on-site meetings with City staff and shade vendors, here is where shading each of the sites stands:
PLAYGROUND – It has been determined that shading at the playground due to the trees, slope, clearance requirements, and unique layout is not feasible. We were really disappointed about this and will not stop exploring other options in the future!
POOL – Due to clearance requirements for the lifeguards providing shade over the shallow water area will not be possible. However, we do anticipate being able to cover 2 areas with 14×14 and 20×30 shade structures, as well as add picnic tables and/or benches. Click for a visual.
BASKETBALL COURT – After assessing the size, cost, and expected lifetime of covering the basketball court with a fabric shade structure (similar to the basketball court shade structure at Summitt), PARD suggested we work to build a free-standing 30×40 pavilion instead for a similar cost.
As we see it, the Pros and Cons of shading the basketball court vs. building a stand-alone pavilion include:
– Large Area Covered, 65×90
– Year-round shade for basketball
– Conflicts in Usage, those wanting to use the structure for shaded activities may conflict with those wanting to play basketball
– Maintenance and Repair Costs, the shade fabric lasts between 8 to 10 years and will need to be replaced at our cost for both labor and supplies
Stand Alone Pavilion (located between the playground and new trail entrance or between the basketball and volleyball courts):
– Allows for a single use area for parties, gatherings, etc of roughly 50 people and keeps basketball courts available for basketball at all times
– Permanent picnic tables
– High durability and low maintenance requirements
– Will be maintained by the City of Austin
– Provides coverage for emergency shelter needs (rainstorms, etc)
– Smaller Area Covered, 30×40
What we need from YOU is your input.
So please click HERE to vote and provide your opinion for shading of the basketball court or building a new pavilion.
Thanks so much for your feedback and support!!