/ Modified jun 29, 2023 9:17 a.m.

Sierra Vista debuts new Veterans Memorial Park Sports Complex

The budget for the project is around $26 million

Veterans Memorial Sport 1 Caitlin Lopez tests out the new football field during the grand opening of the Veterans Memorial Park Sports Complex. June 28, 2023.
Summer Hom, AZPM News

The City of Sierra Vista unveiled its new Veterans Memorial Park Sports Complex Wednesday evening, which includes a football field with a surrounding track, two LED lighted basketball courts, six LED lighted tennis courts, three sand volleyball courts, a softball field, snack bar, four restrooms, and bleacher seating for 1,600.

“We have a full football field and track, and the track also includes all the track and field events,” said Laura Wilson, the Director of Parks, Recreation, and Library Services about a week prior to the grand opening. “So there’s a place for discus throw, there’s a shot put pit. There’s a long jump, a high jump.”

Zuzana Cartwright Zuzana Cartwright plays tennis with her two daughters on one of the six tennis courts at the Veterans Memorial Park Sports Complex Wednesday evening. June 28, 2023. Photo by Summer Hom, AZPM News.

Wilson said that the main goal of this project is to enhance the quality of life for residents and create another avenue for economic development through sports tourism.

The football field was constructed with artificial turf instead of grass and lighting for the field, basketball and tennis courts have been replaced with LEDs. That football field has RGB LED lights. Wilson said the only other area in Arizona that has those lights is the Arizona Cardinal Stadium in Glendale.

Laura Wilson City of Sierra Vista Director of Parks, Recreation, and Library Services Laura Wilson talks about the features of the Veterans Memorial Park Sports Complex about a week prior to the grand opening. June 20, 2023.
Summer Hom, AZPM News

Both Wilson and Schneider Electric Senior Account Executive Brandon Woodward said that the partnership’s focus is to upgrade and create municipal sports facilities that aim to lessen the impact on the city’s utility costs and water resources.

"We did city-wide LED lighting in all of their facilities, both interior and exterior," said Woodward. "They had old lighting technology throughout the town ... So, just replacing it with more efficient lighting technology allowed them to reduce their utility bills significantly ... I know they're saving several hundred-thousand dollars a year off of their utility, energy, and water bills ...

There's a huge water-saving component to see, schedule, monitor, and control all of their irrigation city-wide from a smartphone or a desktop," Woodward continued.

The new sports complex is part of the second phase of the city’s partnership with Schneider Electric, which includes upgrades to the Cove Aquatic Center’s filters and pumps, solar panel covered parking at City Hall and the Sierra Vista Public Library, electric vehicle charging stations and a new roof for City Hall.

The city issued about $24 million in Municipal Facility Revenue Bonds and used a $1.5 million grant from the Land Water Conservation Fund to pay for the second phase of the project.

“This was purchased under what’s called an EPSCO — which is an Energy Performance Service Contract,” said Wilson. “And it’s a procurement method which allows you to take savings that you would have from doing an improvement like cost avoidance, labor … energy savings, material savings, things like that …

And what’s great about an EPSCO and the type of procurement vehicle that is the guarantee from the company,” Wilson continued. “They have to guarantee our savings. So, they guarantee those savings, and if we don’t save as much as they said we would, they have to pay the difference.”

Woodward said that Schneider Electric was contracted by the City of Sierra Vista for construction and noted that the city has invested about $40 million in both phases one and two of these projects.

“We’ve done about $40 million dollars' worth of work for the city, and over the life of this implement, we’re projecting about $138 million dollars in life cycle savings and economic impact,” said Woodward.

Woodward said that the City of Sierra Vista and Schneider Electric began phase I of their projects in 2018. Wilson said that the total budget for Phase I was around $14 million and the budget for Phase II is around $26 million.

The 20-acre complex was purchased for $981,000 from the Sierra Vista Unified School District (SVUSD) three years ago. The campus has since become the Rothery Educational Service Center, which houses SVUSD Administration.

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