The Loma Prieta Playfield

Here’s a little history. When the elementary school was condemned in 1989, the district searched for a site to build a replacement school. The only acceptable location was across the street in the middle of CTE’s playfield. This plan gave the district a nice compact campus but violated state standards for the required square footage of play area for the number of students. The creative solution was to build a pedestrian bridge over busy Summit Road and construct a playfield on the old school site. The state approved this plan, as it was significantly less expensive than other alternatives.

The project was split into three phases: Build a new school, erect the bridge, demolish the old structure and replace it with a playfield. The process has been painfully slow: state bureaucracy, bankrupt contractor walking off the job, lawsuits, but we are finally done.

The playfield consists of an irregular shaped turf field encompassed by a walking/jogging path that also connects to the parking lot, pedestrian bridge and bathrooms. Security lights illuminate the pathways all night. The parking lot has been repaired, sealed and striped. Vehicle barriers have been installed along the parking lot. A new water source and irrigation system will ensure an adequate water supply for the grass and future landscaping.

So, whose field is this anyway? Is it for school use only? Is it a park for the community?

The property is owned by the school district. State funds were given to the district to build this playfield for school use. The district pays for all aspects of maintenance. But the school belongs to the community. As with other parts of the campus, this area is available during non-use times. Any school function or scheduled activity will have priority for use.

The community gave considerable input into this project’s design and wanted to create a park around the playfield. If you take a look you will notice bare areas surrounding the perimeter path. These are for “plug-ins.” Some of the ideas for plug-ins include a playground, community garden, ball wall, picnic area and water play area. The Community Foundation has already rebuilt the old amphitheater and installed a bathroom. A gazebo provides a centerpiece and shelter.

Stop by and take a walk or jog around. (The track is just over 1/8 mile long.) Visualize the final product and think about getting involved to help complete it.


(c) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 mountain network news All rights reserved.