Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., November 7, 2001

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of the Committee Minutes from the previous meeting held May 28, 2003.  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Capital Projects Update
Staff: Scott Boruff
Committee Only
3. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
AD HOC Infrastructure Committee



May 30, 2001

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 30th day of May 2001, there came on to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas beginning at 3:01 p.m., to wit:


Lee M. Bass, Chair
Carol E. Dinkins
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
John Avila, Jr. (absent)
Alvin L. Henry
Katharine Armstrong Idsal
Mark E. Watson, Jr.
Philip O’B Montgomery, III
Joseph Fitzsimons


Commissioner Avila called the meeting to order.


Commissioner Avila asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the November 08, 2000 meeting and January 24, 2001 meeting. The motion was moved, seconded and carried. The motion passed unanimously.


1. BRIEFING – Chairman Charges

Presenter: Mr. Andrew Sansom

Andrew Sansom, Executive Director gave Scott Boruff, Infrastructure Director, approval to deliver the chairman charges as Mr. Boruff’s briefing directly related to them.

2. BRIEFING – Projects Update

Presenter: Mr. Scott Boruff

Scott Boruff, Director of the Infrastructure Division, briefed the Commission on a new sustainable design initiative and an update on three major repair projects that is being funded with bond dollars.

He began by showing a video that explained the sustainable design initiative and how it correlates with the mission of the agency to conserve and protect both our natural and cultural resources. Sustainable building design is the same as building with nature. Some examples are solar energy, recycling, natural ventilation, zero landscaping, and water-absorbing pavement. Texas is rich in natural materials and Texas Parks and Wildlife is incorporating sustainable building ideas into an existing design budget statewide. A few of the examples on the video included Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Big Bend State Park, and Blanco State Park.

Wetland plants at Richland Creek WMA are filtering out heavy metal and waste material by way of the Trinity River then diverting the water to the urban areas for reuse. A ranch house at Big Bend State Park is fully stainable by creating its own energy by using photo intake cells and Blanco State Park gets 90% of their hot water from hot water solar collection panels.

In the video, Mr. Boruff was interviewed as saying that Texas Parks and Wildlife wants to use products that not only meet the needs of the users, but are also aesthetically pleasing to the eye, sustainable, and renewable. He also stated that sustainable design costs more up front, but is cost effective over the life cycle. After showing the video, Mr. Boruff thanked Lydia Saldana, Texas Parks and Wildlife Communications Director and her staff for developing the video.

Mr. Boruff then gave a PowerPoint presentation visualizing three major repair projects being funded by bond dollars at Lake Colorado City State Park, Lake Casa Blanca International State Park, and Lake Somerville-Birchcreek State Park. At Lake Colorado City State Park, the sustainable design approach was incorporated into the project by using native stone to brick the outside of the eleven cottages being built there. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates in conjunction with Texas Parks and Wildlife helped to build the cottages.

Three projects totaling $750,000 are under construction at Lake Casa Blanca International State Park. These projects are part of Phase V of a seven million dollar complete renovation of the existing park. The projects include replacing an existing pier, constructing overnight campsites for trailer and RV parking, and the conversion of an existing bathhouse to a restroom with showers. The projects should be complete by June 2001.

The headquarters at Lake Somerville-Birchcreek State Park is being replaced using sustainable design building materials. Proposed plans include using cisterns to collect rainwater, using local oilfield pipes for arbors and shading, sheet metal from oil storage tanks for building exterior walls, and using readily available cedars for exposed roof framing. Design is scheduled to be complete this summer.

3. BRIEFING – Lone Star Legacy Project Update

Presenter: Mr. Scott Boruff

Mr. Boruff gave a Lone Star Legacy project update to the Commissioners. He explained that the Lone Star Legacy projects are typically not funded through revenue bond dollars, but through the Agency’s capital dollars. The five Lone Star Legacy projects are: Austin’s Woods, Government Canyon State Natural Area, Texas Rivers Center, Bison Center, and the World Birding Center. He then showed a PowerPoint presentation and gave detailed information on the five projects.

The first Lone Star Legacy project Mr. Boruff briefed to the Commission was Austin’s Woods located in Brazoria County. Austin’s Woods consists of 3,500 acres. It is one of the few remaining expanses of forest adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed building facilities for the site include a pavilion, restrooms, boardwalks, and a canopy walk. He stated the canopy walk would be the Agency’s first canopy walks suspended in the trees giving people a bird’s eye view of the habitat. Approximately three miles of trails are also scheduled for construction along with interpretive exhibits.

Government Canyon was the second Lone Star Legacy project briefed to the Commission. Government Canyon is a 7,000-acre state natural area located in Bexar County. Approximately 1,000 acres is in a recharge zone for the Edwards Aquifer. Development will be constrained to areas not in the recharge zone. All construction will be sustainable using water harvesting, constructed wetlands, and recycled materials. One of the main goals of Government Canyon is to provide interpretive and classroom activities for visitors from urban San Antonio.

The third Lone Star Legacy project update Mr. Boruff briefed on was the Texas Rivers Center. The Texas Rivers Center is located in San Marcos. The goal of this project is to educate the public about water as a system. Two renovation phases are scheduled. Phase I includes renovating the existing Inn for offices and classrooms. Phase II includes the construction of the new Texas Rivers Center building and exhibits. The exhibits will explore the relationship between 12,000 years on continuous human inhabitation and the role water has played in that history. The design of the project has already begun with the architects, Graeber, Simmons, & Cowan, and Lake|Flato.

The Bison Center located in Caprock Canyons State Park was the fourth Lone Star Legacy project update given to the Commission. Approximately $1.6 million dollars is allocated for constructing a main facility, visitor’s center, headquarters, reception area, and restrooms. The Bison Center is a prairie center that focuses on bison. Currently it is home to 32 bisons.

The last Lone Star Legacy project update that concluded the presentation was on the World Birding Center located in the Valley. The project consists of developing three main sites in Mission, Weslaco, and Brownsville with the headquarters located in Mission. Design work at all sites will need to be innovative as all sites involve critical habitat. Approximately $20 million dollars has been allocated towards this project.

Commissioner Avila asked if the new Commissioners were briefed on the status of the $60 million bond issue. Mr. Boruff answered by saying he gave a briefing to the new commissioners on the expenditures. Mr. Sansom then commented on the upcoming statewide $15 million bond issue. The bond issue will predominantly be used to complete the original critical backlog of repairs. This is in addition to an approximately $8 to $10 million annually for seven years. He also commented that with this additional proposed funding, the backlog of critical needs would be complete for the first time in this decade.


VI. ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Commissioner Avila adjourned the May 30, 2001 meeting of the Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Committee Agenda Item No. 1

AD HOC Infrastructure Committee
Chairman's Charges
November 2001

(This item will be an oral presentation.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Scott Boruff

Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee
Capital Projects Update
November 2001

I. Discussion: The Commission will be given a presentation on projects. The presentation will provide visual highlights on several current projects.