Dec 3 2011

The Park Alternative: Would Enlarging Coaches Allow a More Park-like Blair?

Powerpoint slides illustrate an alternative which Council Member Garrett Keating identifies as greener –

The Oraftik or “Park” Alternative offers the same field space with a more park-like setting along Moraga Avenue by enlarging Coaches Field.  (See details given on 3/11/11 at p. 4-5.)

Council Member Keating recently analyzed the “greenness” of various options, including the Park option. However, on March 3, 2011 the City Council, with the exception of Council Member Keating, agreed that while both the PRFO and Park plans were viable options for developing Blair Park and providing much needed sports fields, only the PRFO has funding to construct the improvements. (At p. 7-10.)

At the March 3 meeting architect Clarence Mamuyac (representing PRFO) noted the estimated cost of the PRFO proposal is $6.5 Million in comparison to the $11.8 Million estimated for the Park plan and its adverse impact on the City’s existing baseball facility at Coaches.  (At p. 7.)  Steve Ellis, PFRO Board Member, stated at the same meeting that, since alternative plans fail to satisfy the playfield needs of sports donors, it is unlikely that PRFO funds would be donated toward their further development.

The City Administrator recently recommended going forward with the PRFO proposal for Blair Park (if it is fully privately funded – see article) and recommended against publicly funding turf and lights for Coaches field during the current period of financial uncertainty.

More park-like setting along Moraga Avenue

(Compare above with below)

Reduced cut and fill, retaining walls, and cost

More park land at Blair


2 Responses to “The Park Alternative: Would Enlarging Coaches Allow a More Park-like Blair?”

  1. This is not a acceptable plan since you essential ruin the baseball field and the grass soccer area just to put in a slightly larger, plastic soccer field. (Coaches is the only baseball field in town game-sized for 11-12 year olds, also used by the 8-13 yr old teams for practices.

    The only truly acceptable option for adding additional soccer space at Coaches is to turn the soccer field perpendicular to Moraga and run it up into the corporation yard. Yes, the corp yard will need to be smaller, but that would be an acceptable trade off. Use Google maps in satellite view to see how it could work. There is unused space up near the skatepark. Currently we have a lot of buildings and it’s unclear what the justification for maintaining such a large facility actually is.

    Rewarming these ideas at this time is merely distraction and noise. Since there is no civic group stepping up to fund any of the Coaches field options or to spearhead any campaign to get support for those options, it seems that none of them are viable.

  2. Len,
    First, I asked PCA that these renderings be posted. They were presented publicly at Council but not up on the website when I went looking for them last week so I thought there was some value to have them available to the public. I agree with your ideas about the Corp Yard as did the Turf Task Force 20 years ago. It would be great to have a discussion of all the options and I think if the Corp Yard concept had been properly studied during the DEIR phase we’d all be better off. An independent cost estimate of the Coaches alternative would be the first step in a campaign for this design.

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