Back at its Feb. 11, 2019, Board of Aldermen meeting, Ballwin revealed an in-depth Parks Master Plan. Top priorities for Holloway Park included the addition of pickleball courts and an updated playground. The specifics of the latter two are coming into reality, based on the board's Sept. 12, 2022, meeting.

Other Holloway Park steps also were addressed by Director of Parks & Recreation Chris Conway at the board's Nov. 28 meeting.

Ideal Landscape & Construction was awarded the general contracting work. The company's total bid of $103,400.00 was well under the $120,000 budgeted amount and a mere 60% of the other two bids submitted.     

Per the staff report, "The bid includes creating a pad in which the pre-fab (two-unit) restroom building (separate bid) can be placed, connecting utilities to the restroom as well as concrete work to be done on the site. The package also included an alternate bid to remove the old covered picnic table and associated concrete and an alternate bid to add a concrete sidewalk connecting the existing picnic shelter to the new restroom."

Holloway Park

Holloway Park (File photo)

Later in the meeting, Holloway Park’s new comfort station proposal was unveiled, and it was also granted full approval. But there were detailed questions along the way. Alderman Michael Finley (Ward 1) asked why the covered picnic table would be removed.    

“It’s just a small table that seats about 6-8 people and it’s currently in the way of where we’re going to put a larger pavilion for shade and for kids to sit,” Conway replied.     

Alderman Kevin Roach (Ward 2) asked if the bulk of the general contracting expense was for creating the pad for the new restroom.

“One of the top items they’d be doing is the pad,” Conway said. “But concrete work is probably the majority of that and any utilities. They’ll also be running a path from the intersection of Holloway and Baxter around the back side of the parking lot, connecting the playground to the pavilion and ultimately the tennis courts and water park via that intersection instead of walking down the street. So, that’s probably the biggest part, and the second would be utilities, although that might be number one, being around $30,000. Then the pad would be just crushed rock which wouldn’t be much.”

Part of the Holloway Park Capital Improvement Project was subsidized 50% by the Land Water Conservation Fund Grant. It includes $87,500 for the addition of a comfort station.

However the staff report noted, "Using the Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing Group bids came in at $92,805 with customized options, (i.e. stainless fixtures, baby changing stations, delivery, and crane). The cost is down from the last estimate due to the removal of a water fountain; however, there is already an existing water fountain in Holloway Park near the pavilion. Bids are over budget due an increase in cost since applying for the grant in early 2021. Prefabricated restrooms are made of precast concrete with all restroom fixtures installed and delivered on a truck. The color scheme and materials will be identical to the bathroom recently installed in Vlasis Park."

Alderman David Siegel (Ward 4) questioned the removal of the drinking fountain, especially considering the hot weather season and increased number of pickleball players.   

Conway noted that a water fountain adjacent to the pavilion is staying. He added that when they were pricing the two-unit restroom, he had a water fountain as part of that building. The cost would be $4,500. Already being over budget by $5,000 or $6,000, he said chose to keep the water fountain that’s within 20 yards of the restroom.

“We’re bringing to you a two-unit restroom facility that I think everyone was in favor of, and we’re addressing the water fountain. I did take it off the building, but we do have a water fountain in that area. With your approval tonight, we can go ahead and get this building approved by the Sourcewell Building Cooperative.”

Per Finley’s inquiry on wanting to keep the extra drinking fountain, Conway said it would not affect the existing plumbing cost because they were simply going to run a line from the existing water fountain to the restroom that could feed that water fountain.

Pogue mentioned that the total project cost came about $20,000 under budget so they still have room to add another water fountain if they so choose. It would still be under budget at the price of about $4,500.

“I think that’s worth it; especially since we’re under budget,” Finley said. “Also, if the existing one breaks down, we’d still have the new one. Plus, we have a lot of pickleballers. It seems like a good idea.”

Alderman Frank Fleming (Ward 3) asked if one would be able to fill a water bottle from it. Alderman Ross Bullington (Ward 4) thought it would be good to have a fountain with the lower spigot for pets, too. But Conway said it would just be for regular drinking from above.

Per Fleming’s request, Conway will inquire about an additional fountain of the water bottle filling type if reasonably priced. Such a motion was made and approved in addition to unanimous approval of the report as presented.

Speaking of finances, during the ensuing aldermanic comments session, Alderman Mark Stallmann (Ward 2) said, “I just want to commend and thank the staff, the finance director (Denise Keller) and city administrator (Eric Sterman) for their work on then budget. The original budget for 2022 that passed last year predicted a $230,000 deficit, and I think the city will end up $500,000-plus in the black. There was excellent management of our funds and management of our public tax dollars.”