The city may build two sand volleyball courts in Schneider Park next year to replace the courts consumed by the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant at Santa Rita Park.
The lighted courts are estimated to cost $250,000, according to city documents.
The city is considering Schneider Park, near Roosa Avenue, for the new courts because it isn’t near homes and that would avoid a conflict with residents concerned about light pollution, Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz said.
“That was very appealing to us in considering that location,” she said of avoiding the conflict.
Funding for the courts will be considered as part of the city’s 2018 budget process, which will not be final until the Durango City Council votes on it in December.
However, replacing the Santa Rita courts is important to the staff.
“It’s really a growing sport and very popular,” Metz said.
The city has a recreational volleyball league. Those teams have been playing on grass since the construction project started, but it’s not the same experience, especially for people who may want to be competitive sand volleyball players, she said.
“They need to practice and play on sand. It behaves very differently ... It is a very different game than on the grass or indoors,” she said.
The city expects there will be sufficient parking at the 7-acre Schneider Park for volleyball games. There is parking at the end of the park’s access road, parking along that road and an overflow parking lot near Ninth Street, she said.
The city had planned to refurbish the aging Santa Rita volleyball courts instead of building new ones, but when it became evident that the wastewater treatment plant would need the space used by the courts, the staff starting looking for alternative sites.
The new wastewater treatment plant is expected to be complete in 2019, and Santa Rita Park is expected to be redeveloped when construction is complete.