On November 5, 2021 at the American Public Works Association (APWA) Florida Chapter meeting, the City of Palm Coast’s Public Works Department was awarded the APWA 2020 Public Works Project of the Year Award (for projects under $5M) in recognition of the Indian Trails Sports Complex Baseball Fields project that was completed in October 2020.
This project was prompted by the needs of a growing little league organization in the City of Palm Coast that had outgrown the amount of fields available for their organization to utilize during the season. In order to accommodate the need, the Palm Coast City Council authorized an existing project for two new soccer fields at the Indian Trails Sports Complex to be converted into additional baseball fields instead.
“The Public Works Department regrouped to accomplish the task and completed the project above expectations and below budget,” Interim City Manager Denise Bevan said. “We’re so proud of their hard-work and effort on this project, and it is so nice to see them being recognized with such a prestigious honor.”
An undertaking of this magnitude was only possible due to the Special Projects team's background and experience. Their responsibilities have included several different construction projects throughout Palm Coast, so they are accustomed to dealing with many variables on the journey to successfully completing various projects without disruption to their timeline. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they used rotating work schedules to ensure that they could continue the project while keeping the employees safe.
Public safety is always an utmost concern and the team began by identifying a safety designee and tasked him with ensuring that all operations met Palm Coast's strict worker and public safety standards. Construction of the fields was completed without the need to close other areas of the sports complex, which meant that the four baseball and four soccer fields were still available to the public during the construction phase. The entire project was carried out with zero workplace safety incidents thanks to the six‐man crew's diligent efforts.
“One way that the Public Works department developed innovative budgeting solutions for this project was to eliminate unnecessary soil disposal and the need to source quality dirt for the infields,” Public Works Director Matthew Mancill said. “The crew was able to take the dirt from digging out the fields, screened it, and then reused it to grade the new baseball fields. This process alone saved the taxpayers well over $20,000.”
Each year, APWA presents the Public Works Projects of the Year awards to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the contractor, the consultant, and their cooperative achievements.
The awards program recognizes excellence in management, administration, and implementation of public works projects. Projects are judged on several factors including good construction management, safety performance, community relations, environmental protection, unusual accomplishments under adverse conditions, exceptional efforts and innovations, and sustainability.