| Groundbreaking Ceremony Kicks Off Construction For Phase II of the Visalia Riverway Sports Park |
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Friday morning, March 20, at the Visalia Riverway Sports Park for the much anticipated second phase of construction. Vice-Mayor Bob Link welcomed the crowd and spoke about the benefits of the project as heavy equipment graded the project site as a backdrop to the ceremony.
The Riverway Sports Park, located on North Dinuba Boulevard, is an 83 acre parcel which first opened to the public on August 25, 2007.
The initial phase of the sports complex included 46 acres of development featuring 10 regulation sized soccer fields (three are lighted); three large group picnic areas; two restroom/concession facilities; two playgrounds; an interactive water feature; parking improvements; and a host of other general park amenities.
Phase II of the park, roughly 12 acres, will be devoted primarily to providing youth baseball fields to meet the growing demand by youth sports groups for more competitive playing fields in the community. The next phase will feature a new lighted four field baseball complex that can accommodate local, regional, and state tournament play.
The proposed fields will meet playing specifications as provided by both Cal Ripken Youth Baseball and Visalia Little League. Aside from play during the spring by these organizations, the fields can also be utilized for less competitive programs and other user groups during the summer and fall seasons as well.
Phase II will also include additional concession and restroom facilities; the lighting of two more soccer fields (which means a total of five fields will now be lighted all along the southern boundary of the park); the lighting of the BMX facility; and additional parking lot and roadway improvements.
The Grand Opening for the park is expected to be in February or March, 2010, just in time for the new youth baseball season.
The project architect is the HLA Group from Sacramento, CA.; the general contractor is Applegate Johnston Inc. from Modesto, CA; and the project Construction Manager is Swinerton Consulting from Fresno, CA. The projected final cost for Phase II is estimated to be $4.8 million dollars.