By Barbara Wood
Special to the Almanac
Plans to renovate Portola Valley's Ford Field youth baseball park, put on hold last year after all the bids came in over budget, have been modified to reduce the costs and sent back out for bids.
The Portola Valley Town Council on March 13 agreed on new plans that split out parts of the project, such as a batting cage and special material for the dugout roof, to be bid on separately so they can be removed if the cost is, once again, too high.
Work on the field, located at 3399 Alpine Road, includes new irrigation, re-grading, a backstop, dugouts and bleachers.
Even with the changes, the town does not have enough money to pay the projected costs of the renovations. The Alpine-West Menlo Little League has promised to pay half of any shortfall in funding, up to $40,000, if the town pays the other half.
Money for the renovations comes from a state grant, public donations including $100,000 from the Sand Hill Foundation on behalf of Susan Ford, and donations from the Little League.
The town will pay its share of any shortfall with part of the $60,387 it gained by selling stocks donated to the town in 2008 by Laird Cagan.
If all goes according to plan, the town will award the contract by late April so construction can begin June 1 (after the Little League season has ended) and be completed by September so the new sod can grow over the winter.
"We'll have a whole new ball field soon," said Jon Myers, chair of the town's Parks and Recreation Committee, after the Town Council's unanimous vote to approve the project.