City to discuss sports park options at meeting
September 3, 2008
By Jim Feehan
The city will hold its third public meeting later this month to discuss the future of a proposed sports park in southwest Newcastle.
Ed MacLeod, landscape architect at MacLeod Reckord, will discuss site design alternatives that include athletic fields, a loop trail system and a small grass field for Little League baseball.
“Right now, we’re looking at a number of combinations, but we’re leaning toward a lighted field with synthetic turf,” he said.
City officials entered into an agreement with MacLeod Reckord, to design a sports park facility at the former state Department of Transportation site on Southeast 95th Way. The 32-acre site borders May Creek Park and has some ravines and steep slopes, with about 14 acres available for sports.
A steering committee was formed in April to determine the best use for the space. The committee is made up of representatives from sports groups, Newcastle Parks commissioners and Parks Department staffers.
The committee looked at several configurations of fields, from baseball only to a multipurpose field.
The committee also looked at whether to use grass, a synthetic surface or a combination of both. More traditional sports activities were considered, as well as emerging sports in the area. In addition to sports fields, so-called “passive uses” (jogging, walking paths) are also under consideration.
At the first public meeting, neighbors said they enjoy the peace and quiet along Southeast 95th Way and voiced concerns about additional traffic, lighting, parking and vandalism at the park. Residents asked whether surveillance cameras could be installed and the park encircled with fencing. A subsequent meeting was held July 29 at City Hall.