Town of Cary
North Carolina

Staff Report

Brooks Park Field Renovation Construction Bids


Department:Transportation and FacilitiesSponsors:
Category:Bid Award

Speaker:  Paul Kuhn, Transportation and Facilities


Executive Summary:  Thomas Brooks Park has experienced drainage issues that have limited the use of the softball fields.  This project was created to address these issues in order to improve use of the fields.  The poor soils that caused the drainage issues have also led to a slope failure that required staff to close the trail that goes around the field.  After reviewing the bids and the scope of the project, staff recommends rejecting bids that were received on January 15, 2019 in order to best identify a long-term solution. 


Recommendation: That Council reject all bids for the construction of the Brooks Park Field Renovation project.


Background:  Cary currently has 31 baseball/softball fields.  The Thomas Brooks Park softball pinwheel (four field complex) is programmed in the Spring and Fall seasons for Town of Cary adult softball leagues.  On average, over 700 adult softball games are played yearly at the pinwheel.  In addition, the pinwheel is rented an average of 37 weekends per year to host youth baseball and softball tournaments, which are run by numerous travel ball organizations in the state.  On average, these weekend tournaments bring in $95,000 in revenue each year to the Town as well as create $980,000 in economic impact to Cary.


This project was created to address two issues that do not occur at any other fields within Cary:



1) This photo shows standing water in the outfield that occurs on all four fields due to the poor soils not allowing the water to drain away.  In addition to these drainage issues, a failing discharge pipe taking stormwater away from the fields needs to be replaced and;


2) A failing slope in the outfield of field seven (as can be visibly seen in the cracked asphalt) has rendered the perimeter walking trail unsafe.


These fields experience unplayable outfield conditions after rain. Field closures are required for as many as four days after a rain event.  The Brooks Park Field Renovations Project was intended to regrade existing outfields to improve drainage rather than digging fields up to replace bad soils.  This solution would reduce the number of days affected by inclement weather from three or four days to one or two days.  A one or two day turn around would help ensure more adult league softball games are played and less weekend tournaments are cancelled after rain.  Staff estimates that more than seventy adult league games are rescheduled each year at the four-field complex due to rain.  In addition, five weekend tournaments are lost annually due to wet field conditions, resulting in $20,000 in lost revenue.


Discussion:  A bid opening was held on January 3, 2019.  Only two bids were received, and three are required by state law for formal bids.  Therefore, the project was re-advertised for January 15, 2019.  Again, only two bids were received, and we were able to open the bids due to the re-advertisement.  The following table shows the bids that were received, including the alternates and the engineers estimate. 




Fred Smith Company

Narron Contracting



Base Bid




Alternate 1 - Paved trail removal




Alternate 2 - Sprigs in lieu of sod




Alternate 3 - Replace pipe from CI-8 to YI-11




Alternate 4 – Add pipe from YI-11 to YI-15




Alternate 5 - Add pipe from YI-1 to YI-5





Bids on this project came in over budget even though staff had developed alternates with the goal to keep the project on budget.  After reviewing the cost of this project, staff felt it was best to delay this project since it was not a long-term solution. Investing funding in this facility should ensure that fields are back up and playable within one day after rain. Therefore, staff recommends a more thorough repair in the future, considering artificial turf, and partnership with another organization.  Partnering would increase the use of the fields without having to add additional infrastructure such as parking and restrooms and would take full of advantage of the lights on the field.


Fiscal Impact

Operating Impacts: In the short term, fields will continue to be closed for multiple days after rain events resulting in loss of revenue of approximately $20,000 per year. 


Capital Impact: A total of $1,500,000 has been appropriated to PR1236 – Thomas Brooks Drainage/NTC Field Replacement project.  To date $367,920 has been spent or encumbered leaving a balance of $1,132,080. (A portion of the funds was used for design and the remaining was used to renovate one of the USA Baseball National Training Center Sand Based Fields).


Next Steps:  Upon rejection of bids, staff will reevaluate the issues and develop a new plan for addressing the failing slope and pipe and the impacts to field usage that these issues create.