Design concerns growing about County Sportspark

Design concerns growing about County Sportspark

EL PASO, Texas - The contractor for the $7.5 million County Sportspark said this week he fears being liable for growing design concerns.

It's an update to a story ABC-7 first broke in November.

Heaters in the concession stand are up and running. But even those arrived fashionably late. The contractor said the architect proposed gas heaters that didn't pass city inspection. And the architect took about nine months just to propose a new solution.

"Photograph that would probably say 1,000 words," said contractor Daniel Gonzalez of Sunlight Enterprises.

More like 1,000 headaches.

"Every major issue that has to be closed out," Gonzalez said, "something that was not on the plan and specification."

He said the clubhouse is 95 percent complete. But he can't close out the job when the architect's proposed sidewalks are too steep for wheelchairs.

"It exceeds the 2 percent," said Juan Chavez of Sunlight Enterprises. "It won't pass the ADA."

One backstop allows only an 18-inch walkway abutting the clubhouse.

"We're supposed to be three feet, according to the architect," Chavez said.

Can't forget the batting cages -- the contractor said the designed poles aren't sturdy enough to hold wood beams for shade.

"You never know," Chavez said. "The wind blows it off -- or the weight of it's gonna be too much, it'll fall on somebody. We don't want to be liable for that."

"We've already been bringing these things up, in some cases since April," Gonzalez said.

Judge Veronica Escobar said the county plans to investigate what caused the delays.

"But we're not going to engage in that process until the job is done," Escobar said.

The park was supposed to be done in August, but a Sunlight source said it won't be ready for at least another six weeks.

Today ABC-7 contacted architect Parkhill, Smith & Cooper Inc. They referred ABC-7 to the county public works department, which won't comment because of pending litigation.

An assistant county attorney plans to inspect the site Tuesday.

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