On Wednesday, July 16, commissioners will weigh three proposals, all of which include filling most of the park's baseball dirt infield with grass or artificial turf to make way for a full-sized soccer field that would share space with the baseball diamond. Commissioners are expected to choose one plan to recommend to the City Council for approval.
The meeting is set to start at 6 p.m. in the Burgess Recreation Center at 700 Alma St.
The park, at the center of the city's Civic Center complex, underwent drastic renovations in 2004 that were paid for by the first wave of Measure T funding, the recreation bond measure passed by voters in 2001.
The city planned to build an adult-sized soccer field — something sports groups say the city desperately needs — at the site, but the late addition of a basketball court and skate park to the park's design led to less field space devoted to soccer.
A subcommittee of city staff, parks commissioners and a consultant has come up with three plans to get a full-sized soccer field at the site:
• Replacing the baseball field's dirt infield with grass at a cost of $211,000.
• Replacing the baseball field's dirt field with grass and adding lights to the baseball/soccer field and adjacent Little League field at a cost of $671,000.
• Replacing the existing grass fields and infield dirt with artificial turf, and adding lights to the baseball/soccer field and adjacent Little League field at a cost of $2.68 million.
According to the first two plans, the only portion of the baseball infield that would remain dirt would be the first- and third-base paths.
In June, parks commissioners voted unanimously to recommend a plan to add a full-sized soccer field and running track to Kelly Park in the city's Belle Haven neighborhood — another park that was recently renovated, but is underused, mainly due to design flaws.