Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Beach Chalet Soccer Fields Need Some Help

Four years ago, the soccer fields at Crocker Amazon Park were dilapidated and used only as a last option by recreational athletes and families alike. Today, thanks to a multimillion-dollar renovation project and the generosity of the City Fields Foundation, Crocker is teeming with activity. Every day after school, 500 boys and girls swarm the soccer complex for league games and practices. In the evening, another 500 people play on the lighted fields well into the night.

The Beach Chalet Soccer Fields complex is another primary ground sports athletic facility in San Francisco.  During the fall, more than 1,550 kids and 600 adults play at Beach Chalet each week, but built more than 75 years ago, with the last renovation coming in 1998, the fields are unsafe and in poor condition due to heavy use, abundant gopher holes, and year-round wet conditions. One of the four fields is always out of commission for rest and regrowth, leaving, at most, three open fields at any given time.

Despite constant use by kids, Beach Chalet lacks some basic family-friendly amenities: clean restrooms, changing stations, play/picnic areas, and spectator seating.

A proposed renovation of Beach Chalet with lights and synthetic turf would eliminate all dangerous gopher holes and more than triple the amount of play on the fields. Currently, the fields host 4,738 hours of annual play. The proposed renovation will add 9,582 hours of new play each year, especially significant when the demand for athletic fields in the city is at an all-time high.

The renovation will also make the facility much more family-friendly and inviting for athletes, spectators and park visitors alike.

Install synthetic turf, field lights and spectator seating - Field improvements include high-quality synthetic turf on four fields, all of which will be lined for soccer and two of which will be lined for lacrosse as well. Fields will have state-of-the-art drainage, and they will feature seating for players and spectators and be framed by new lighted perimeter walkways and new vinyl-covered fencing.

Create a viewing plaza - The redesigned spectator plaza proposes a picnic/bbq area along the western edge of the warm-up area, with new picnic tables and barbeques as well as new drinking fountains, bike racks, trash/recycling cans, seat walls and landscaping.

Renovate restrooms - Renovations feature a new interior for the restrooms, with 11 stalls in the women’s room, 5 stalls/4 urinals in the men’s room, and diaper changing stations in both rooms. The restroom building will also have a concession booth for group/league use and a Rec/Park storage and mechanical room.

Improve the parking lot - Parking lot updates include a loop design for better traffic flow, new lighting for safety and convenience, and a sidewalk through to JFK Drive. There will be a marked pick-up/drop-off area, as well as 60 bike parking spots, 20 new parking spaces and 4 new disabled parking spaces. Rec/Park maintenance staff will have a new work shed.

Create safe, lit walkways - New lighting on the fields will feature (10) 60' field lights. There will be pathway lighting to the northern spectator seating, to the parking lot and to the walkways to both JFK Drive and the Great Highway. The plaza and picnic/bbq areas will also be illuminated.

In the next two weeks, beginning Wednesday, November 16, you’ll have an opportunity to weigh in on the renovation project.

Beach Chalet Fields Historic Preservation Hearing
November 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM
San Francisco City Hall, Planning Commission Chambers, Room 400

Beach Chalet Fields Draft Environmental Review Hearing
December 1, 2011 at 1:30 PM
San Francisco City Hall, Planning Commission Chambers, Room 400

I hope to see you there.