The campaign to increase Menlo Park's sports field inventory will pick up this week as the Parks and Recreation Commission discusses reconfiguring Kelly Field and building lighted, artificial-turf fields at the 8.3-acre park.
Parks commissioners, at their Feb. 27 meeting, are expected to evaluate three options for fitting a baseball field and soccer field at the park, which is located behind the Onetta Harris Community Center in the city's Belle Haven neighborhood.
The meeting is set to start at 6 p.m., and will be held at the center at 100 Terminal Ave.
Kelly Park is a relatively new city facility, built in 2002 for about $1 million.
But poor planning and design restrictions led to a triangular-shaped baseball field that is too shallow for sports groups to use, and an undersized soccer field that is significantly slanted.
At the direction of the City Council, parks commissioners and San Francisco-based consultant Callander Associates have spent the past several months working with local sports groups and neighbors to figure out how to squeeze more field space out of the park and make other improvements.
"The goal is that we want to increase the utilization of the fields at the park," said Andy Kirkpatrick, a parks commissioner. Mr. Kirkpatrick said neighbors and sports groups favored installing artificial turf and lights at the park so the fields could be used year-round, and at night.
Callander Associates will present three design options to the parks commissioners, and the commission is expected to choose one design to recommend to the council.
All three designs call for adult-sized, lighted, artificial-turf fields, keeping the existing basketball court, and adding a tennis court and outdoor exercise equipment at the park. Two of the designs also incorporate a 100-meter running track and long-jump pit.
Mr. Kirkpatrick said the total costs of reconfiguring the park are unknown, but said the artificial turf and lights alone would cost about $1.8 million.
Councilman Heyward Robinson, who pushed the city to rework Kelly Park two years ago as a parks commissioner, said he's looking forward to learning more about the designs.
"This is what [the council wanted -- some creative ideas to expand our fields, and to see how those ideas might work out," he said.