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File #: 2014-488   
Type: New Business
Body: Recreation and Park Commission
On agenda: 5/8/2014
Title: Review and Comment on the Estuary Park Conceptual Design
Attachments: 1. Estuary Park Conceptual Plan 05-01-14
Review and Comment on the Estuary Park Conceptual Design
To: Honorable Chair and Members of the Commission
From: Amy Wooldridge, Recreation and Park Director
Re: Review and Comment on the Estuary Park Conceptual Design
Estuary Park is eight acres of fields and park space for people of all ages and abilities.  It is located on the estuary side just east of Alameda Point at Mosley Avenue.  Previously used by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, the park and athletic fields have lain dormant for many years and have fallen into an unusable state of disrepair.
In October, 2013, the Alameda Recreation and Park Department (ARPD) issued a Request for Qualifications for Landscape Architect firms to design an Estuary Park renovation.  Four firms were selected for interviews and the panel unanimously selected Verde Design.
Verde Design was chosen in part because their firm specializes in designing athletic fields.  They integrate landscape architecture, civil engineering design, and construction management to form an innovative, multi-disciplinary approach to planning and designing community projects. Verde Design projects are green and sustainable by design, such as employing the latest irrigation technology to provide viable and responsible landscapes.  The Estuary Park renovation project is now in design.  Two design input meetings have been held with community members representing the youth athletic groups that will utilize the facility.  
Estuary Park has two distinct sections.  The 4-acres on the west side are dedicated to athletic fields including one synthetic baseball diamond prioritized for special needs youth plus one lighted synthetic rectangular field for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, and football.  This field is the City's first lighted synthetic turf field.  It is also the City's first regulation-size football field.  Youth football leagues currently practice on the outfield of City baseball fields.  They are not designed to handle that level of use and this increases the maintenance costs of those fields.  ARPD is also experiencing increased demand for lacrosse and rugby field allocations.  This investment will provide significant additional field availability for Alameda youth and adults.
The eastern 4-acres is designed as a community park space with playgrounds for under 5 and 5-12 year olds, small and large group picnic areas, basketball courts, open lawn, and a dog park.  All of these park and recreation amenities are intended to serve the new residential housing anticipated at Alameda Landing and North Housing.  
The synthetic baseball diamond is designed to be accessible for youth of all physical and mental abilities and will include striping in the outfield for a soccer field.  The synthetic surface makes the field playable for youth in wheelchairs and walkers.  Alameda Little League is creating a Challenger baseball league, which is an established national program model for youth with mental and physical challenges, ages 4 - 18.  The Alameda Recreation and Park Department will also partner with Special Olympics, Ala Costa Centers, and other non-profit organizations to make this field available for special needs youth and adults.
Estuary Park is being designed and planned as phased construction.  The first phase is the athletic fields and parking.  The second phase is the community park and restroom.  
The portion of construction funding for the first phase is identified through a combination of City funds, private donations, youth sports organization donations, Measure WW funds, and a Housing-Related Parks Grant.  Additional funds are pending, in addition to options for in-kind contractor work.
Due to Alameda's robust youth sports community and the much-needed park space for the increased nearby housing, Estuary Park is anticipated to annually serve at least 165,000 Alameda youth, parents and residents.
A detailed engineer's construction estimate will be developed once the design is complete.  General rough estimates are $3 million for phase 1 and $1.5 million for phase 2.
To review and comment on the Estuary Park Conceptual Design.
Respectfully submitted,
Amy Wooldridge, Recreation and Park Director
1.      Estuary Park Conceptual Design