Update: July 4th, 7:30 a.m.
You may have noticed some changes happening at the putt-putt golf course on college hills. San Angelo city council approved an ordinance on Tuesday to lease almost twenty-two acres to Shawn Box, former minor-leaguer and owner of Sports Next Level.
“Trying to take kids to the next level is what we’re trying to do,” says Box.
Shawn is building a sports complex on the land where a putt-putt course and driving range currently sit … and it’s going to be anything but small. The complex will house an indoor, multi-use facility with batting cages, soccer cages, volleyball courts, basketball courts ,and even a gym. But not everything will change.
“We’re going to keep, one of the putt-putt courses, you know, so that the younger kids have something to do and the driving range will still be there. It’s just going to get moved a little bit later once the baseball fields come.”
There are also going to be two baseball fields. One for kids and one for adults, and that’s not all.
“There will be a restaurant and a bar and grill, you know, to where moms and dads can hang out while the kids are out training and doing that type of stuff. So it’s just kind of making it family friendly for everybody to enjoy.”
Box says there will be different tiers of membership so that anyone, from the curious to the seasoned pro, can enjoy what the complex has to offer.
“This is definitely all open to the public it’s not just for … really, the reason it’s being built, or the reason I’m doing it is to give every kid an opportunity – what a lot of the kids in the big city have the accessibility to. I’m just trying to give that to them here.”
The challenges of building on a flood plain
A portion of our interview with Box was cut for time. Shawn talked about the challenges of building on a well known flood plain. We’ve added that portion of the interview below.
When the San Angelo City Council approved the ordinance to lease the 22-acre property to Sports Next Level they stipulated Box would have to acquire approval from the city’s Flood Plain Manager .
“You know, I’ve been at this for about two years and there was a lot of other areas in town that I looked at but I started at this one and then found out what the flood issues … Some of that kind of steered me away. Went to some other places and this just kept coming back to this one because it offers so much out there. And then with the walking park surrounding it, it just made it to where this is the place that it needs to be.”
“There are some obstacles out there, you know. When it rains that area does have a lot of water, so there’s been a process of about three months going over all the different things to make sure this is the right place and it would work. And we got with some engineers and all that and there’s a way to make it work, we’ve just got to do some things to make sure it’s done the right way.”
“There has to be a study done and then it has to be shaped where water can still flow. But all the fields, they’ll be able to take on water and then the water will go away. Even the facilities, they’re even going to be made to where they can take on water and then once the water goes down. So, there’s going to have to be some special things that we have to do but, you know, even if it does rain and water does come there, you know, it’s going to be built to where it can handle that.”
“Just stay tuned, you know, we’re in the process and we’re going to push through it and hopefully get it up and going as soon as we can.”