Frisco bicycle track could be torn down for parking lot

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 18 at 11:23 PM

Superdrome in Frisco

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FRISCO — Frisco's velodrome could be torn down to make way for a new parking garage.

The city boasts one of just 22 of the outdoor bicycle racing tracks in the U.S. Twelve years ago Frisco spent $15 million to build the facility, called the Superdrome, which is highly coveted by serious cyclists.

Many are irritated about the possibility of the track being replaced by a parking garage.

"It would be pretty devastating, because it is one of the top three tracks in the country," said Tim Goodwin, Superdrome track manager.

The Frisco bike track sits on property owned by the Preston Ridge campus of Collin College. The school has averaged a thousand new students a year and officials say they have run out of room for those students to park.

Community college officials say a four-story parking garage is needed.

"The students don't use it, there's no classes over there, there's no benefit to the students," said Toni Jenkins, provost at Collin College Preston Ridge campus. "We're trying to use the land as efficiently as we can."

Jenkins says tearing down the velodrome is not the first choice, but the college is out of room. The parking deck could possibly be built next to homes in the Frisco neighborhood, and neighbors aren't happy.

Jenkins said another option is to build the garage on top of a current lot, but that would cost $4 million more. It is an expense the college wants the city to pay.

"We're looking at being most cost-effective and prudent for our taxpayers as well," Jenkins said.

Supporters say the velodrome remains a needed asset that few other places have.

"I've got nine years of hard labor and work put into this facility and it would be a shame to lose it," Goodwin said.

Frisco's city manager has said tearing this down doesn't seem reasonable, but any of the solutions will upset someone.

Frisco's City Council declined to get involved on Tuesday night, refusing to pay for any of the available parking remedies. They said the school should continue working with its neighbors to find a solution to the problem.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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