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City holds off on design services for Oasis Sports Field

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Apr 18, 2024

Cape Coral City Council postponed its pursuit of professional design services for the Oasis Sports Fields Wednesday night until more discussion is had with the charter school board.

The resolution that was tabled was for an amount not to exceed $297,054.49 to Avalon Engineering, Inc.

Councilmember Keith Long made the motion to continue the matter until Council could have a joint meeting with the charter board of the four-school municipal school system. He said although he is in full support of the project, there were still many questions unanswered — as far as which entity will build the facility and what time would be dedicated to the school and to city residents.

“I would be more comfortable in waiting to figure out what we do if the project is likely to come to fruition before I throw $300,000 into a design before moving forward with the discussion,” Long said. “I personally prefer we wait to have discussions — I am not entirely sure it will come to fruition.”

City Manager Mike Ilczyszyn said they were waiting on holding the joint meeting with the charter school board until the design consultant was on hand so consultant could participate with the discussion and understand who was going to be owning, operating, maintaining, and funding this project.

“The design would not start prior to that meeting. That meeting is important for the design professional to understand the programming and geared principally towards the school, towards the community and engaging the priority. The design professional takes input from the owner and understanding what we are trying to deliver and design an acceptable facility to meet the goals of what we are trying to accomplish,” he said.

Ilczyszyn said they are still in that discussion mode, but at the end of the day they still need a design professional regardless.

“I don’t see the benefit for the wait, which is why we advanced this forward. Having the design professional in the discussion is important. They are going to need that input,” he said.

Councilmember Tom Hayden said he thinks it is difficult to bring something forward when there is still a lot of confusion of what the facility will be.

“I don’t think we are all certain of the uses for these particular fields. I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to move forward with anything right now,” he said.

Ilczyszyn said his recommendation of bringing the firm forward was based on the assumption that the city would build the field.

“I recommend bringing the consultant on board while figuring out the funding mechanism, ownership, and operation. If this park is not going to be built, than I cannot recommend spending money on the design,” he said, adding that funding was set aside in this year’s budget to fund the design.