Serenity meets excitement North Park adds to popularity of Southlake, Texas

North Park is the city of Southlake’s newest park. Located northeast of the city’s urban town square development, the park makes itself at home in the countryside. Schrickel, Rollins and Associates, now PSC/SRA, designed this project with careful attention to the surrounding neighborhoods and those who would find it a welcoming recreational haven.

A lakeside residential community is just beyond the park. Materials used within the park and park building are cut sandstone, cut limestone, brick and stucco to complement the architectural styles and materials of the surrounding area.

This park offers accommodations for all age groups. Three playing fields are designed for lacrosse and flag football, but can easily be converted to accommodate additional sports. Each field provides stadium type, elevated bleacher seating for optimal spectator viewing and large shade structures to provide shelter from the elements.

At the time, this was one of the only competition level lacrosse facilities in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.

At the entrance of the 20-acre park, a .85-acre retention pond captures stormwater from the fields, parking area and adjacent Department of Public Safety facility, and provides irrigation for the facility. A well on the site keeps the pond filled as sensors trigger once the pond drops beyond a specific water level. The pond also offers a backup city water supply.

A path meanders around the pond.

Designers created an attractive storm drainage structure for both the park and the adjacent DPS training facility. A multi-staged retention structure helps manage runoff of stormwater.

Tournaments have a major economic impact on the city of Southlake. Irrigating is carefully monitored, and overseeding is done in the fall when the fields are closed to allow the grass to replenish.

One of the unique aspects of North Park is its strategic location on the site. The site had 30 feet of fall from one corner of the park to the other, and the plaza and concession area was located roughly in the center of the grade changes. The location of the playground allows parents to sit at picnic tables above the playground and view the games on the lacrosse fields. The unique bi-level layout also carries through to the playground, which plays up a naturalistic theme of native grasses, boulders and whimsical hollowed-out trees. Slides and other play elements are of sculpted, detailed glass fiber reinforced (GFRC).

The park’s large outdoor elevated plaza is a high point view of the park. Visitors follow a wide path bordered with aesthetically pleasing vegetation and native rocks. Welcoming archways signal the entrance, at far right.

Bronze art adorns one of the walls.

Amenities include a restroom/concession building with an attached shade pavilion that overlooks the fields, the pond and a custom playground.

Video boards allow for changing displays in the concession area.
The playground area plays up a naturalistic theme using boulders, giant mushrooms and fanciful logs.
Slides and other play elements are of glass fiber reinforced concrete, sculpted with incredible detail.
In the photo at top, the split-level design incorporated a lower level for storage, maintenance equipment and electronic controls. The pedestrian plazas and raised planters above provide a dramatic entrance to the recreational areas. Native grasses and plants add color and texture as well.
SRA/PSC designed a sustainable landscape to meet low water and maintenance requirements.

The land used for this park was once an open pasture dotted with pecan and post oak trees, an old-stock pond, and grazing Longhorn cattle.

A large bronze plaque was inserted into the wall underneath the tower. It was a public art piece commissioned to reflect the history of the park.

Design renderings helped the design team convey design intent to the client, council and public. Providing a 3-D visual with materials and a fly-over through the property allowed for a greater understanding for everyone as the design moved forward.

The design team put in a large amount of netting to protect viewers without drawing attention to it.

The most significant challenge for SRA/PSC was to blend a lighted, tournament-level, multi-sport complex into a popular residential area.

A tree-lined pedestrian walkway leads to the fields and serves as emergency access when needed. Note the dark skies lighting fixture.

Lighting was an important part of this $6.6M project, completed in 2012. On the north side of the park, multiple homes are in close proximity to the park's property line. SRA/PSC was conscious of light spillover to the homes and worked to meet a cutoff requirement for footcandle readings at the property lines by using the latest technology in cut-off sports lighting as well as enhanced screening..

“We used the graphic below to present the project foot candle readings based on proposed photometrics in a way that would allow for the public to gain an understanding and the effects on adjacent properties. The field lighting graphic really helped explain to adjacent property owners that light levels on their propery would not be affected.” – Spencer Freeman
SRA/PSC created a rendering based on photometric data to give a clear expectation to the park’s amenities and effectively communicate the impact to the surrounding residences.
The image above illustrates the field lighting cut-off. SRA/PSC designed each field to feature state-of-the-art lighting for evening games that will direct the lighting onto the fields with very minimal light spill, or light pollution.

The tower features lights embedded in the steps and dark skies light fixtures.

The lighting is dramatic on the plaza as well. The decorative paving and stamped and stained concrete add a sophisticated finish.

This project has provided this rapidly growing community with facilities that accentuate the quality of life in Southlake. The park provides residents of the area a place to play, explore, relax, gather and compete.
A heightened awareness of Southlake’s reputation nationally for quality facilities was brought to light when they conducted a nationwide search for their Lacrosse coaching position. When asked about North Park, a respondent noted that he had visited and coached in facilities across the nation and that no facility came close to offer what North Park offered for the player, the coaching staff and spectators.