What started as a wish from a group receiving leadership training from the Chamber of Commerce in 1995 turned into the first Parks Advisory Board. That board worked to create a city park which eventually became Fritz Park in June 2005. The park was the result of receiving grants from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Partners in Parks grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority. In August 2005, the City of Hutto and Hutto Independent School District entered into an inter-local agreement. This agreement included the transfer of property from HISD to the City of Hutto. This property included two small baseball/softball fields located on the Hutto Elementary School site; two fields located on Park Street (Old Hippo Stadium and Holmstrom Field); and the areas used as the parking lot for Fritz Park and the city's parks and recreation department office and the old tennis court now used as a maintenance yard.
Creating a Concept
In 2008, citizens, the Parks Advisory Board and Parks and Recreation Department was challenged to design Fritz Park if all the necessary facilities and amenities were included. The concept drawings and renderings for the plan (see links below) include an internal walking trail and a new parking along Park Street, a new concession stand/restroom building and other changes to Holmstrom Field and Old Hippo Stadium.
The Fritz Park Plan integrates pedestrian mobility, safety and additional parking into the new design for the park improvements. Information gathered during the overall master plan process was integrated into the plan. The concept plan was adopted by the Parks Advisory Board in October and City Council adopted the plan December 4, 2008. This plan led the City Council to include the project in the bond referendum election (Proposition #2) which voters approved in November 2009.
The City of Hutto phased in the voter approved bond referendum projects from the 2009 election. First up was downtown street repairs and infrastructure (Proposition #1: Farley Street project, Mager Lane improvements, sidewalks and more.) as well as the city recreation center (Proposition #4: Hutto Family YMCA). These projects were scheduled from 2010 through 2014.
In preparation for moving the project forward again, a September 2013 Preliminary Design was given to City Council. The design matched elements resembling Hutto's old downtown buildings as a nod to Hutto's history. City Council's approval gave the go ahead towards full project design and construction plans.
September 13, 2013 Preliminary Design Presentation to City Council
Elements of the Design
- An internal crushed granite trail that would connect to the existing concrete trail that runs along Cottonwood Creek.
- Additional parking lot along Park Street which will serve as the primary parking for events at Old Hippo Stadium and Holmstrom Field.
- Each of the fields will have a cosmetic change to resemble specific time period. Holmstrom Field will resemble a 1930s/40s; Old Hippo Stadium will throw back to the 1950s/60s era.
- A new shared use concession stand and restroom facility as well as handicapped parking, a loading/unloading zone for player drop off.
Overlay image of new parking lot, new concession stand & playground, and the changes to Holmstrom Field and Old Hippo Stadium. More images of the planned changes can be seen in the Preliminary Design Presentation.