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County Sportspark could be finished two months sooner than expected

Big news on the planned improvements to the El Paso County Sportspark in far east. A new way of dealing with contractors has pushed up an expected fall completion to just the end of summer.

As ABC-7 first reported in February, a lot of El Pasoans were excited to hear it may be done in October. But now with a speeded-up timeline, it might be as soon as August.

“What the benefit is for us is that it allows us to contract with a building contractor in order to faster procure the services so that we can get construction projects done faster,” said Kennie Dowing, purchasing agent for the county.

At the top of the list of construction projects facing the county is the long-unfinished Sportspark. El Paso County commissioners gave their stamp of approval to a list of contractors already screened by Region 19, which among other things recommends contractors to area schools and government agencies for construction projects.

With approval Monday, that means the county saved two months in putting bids out and screening its own list of contractors, so work could begin ahead of schedule. The county can call five contractors up as needed for completing additions to projects, emergency repairs, or finishing existing projects like the Sportspark. They couldn’t be used for new projects, which would still have a regular bidding process.

County leaders feel pretty good about it.

“Yes! Oh my gosh, yes,” said El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar. “Our purchasing director offered up an innovative idea that could save time but still protects the county… We jumped all over that, because as everyone knows, we are very eager for the Sportspark to be completed and remediated and ready for the public, and this gets us closer to that goal.”

Escobar added that the project architect is still working on final design so a firm timeline for construction isn’t available just yet.

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