Recreational facilities at U.S. Cellular Community Park and North Medford High School will get facelifts as a result of Medford City Council approval of capital improvement projects last Thursday.
FieldTurf USA received a contract to replace the synthetic turf on six infields at U.S. Cellular Community Park, while Copeland Paving, Inc., is tasked with reconstructing 10 publicly owned tennis courts at North Medford High School.
Approximately 22,000 games have been played on the five USCCP softball/baseball complex ball fields that have helped generate the sports park’s estimated $88 million in economic impact since its 2008 grand opening. The $514,726 contract will result in the replacement of 96,000 square feet of infield turf on Fields 1 through 5 as well as Charter Field, a full-size baseball field.
The turf replacement will be conducted in mid-November as to minimize disruption to ongoing adult softball league play.
Repetitive use gradually results in the degradation of turf fibers to the extent infill material can no longer be added to meet the manufacturer’s recommendation for ideal playability and optimum surface safety. The life expectancy of the new infield turf is up to 10 years based on Medford’s heavy year-round programming load although specific high-traffic areas are patched by park maintenance staff, as needed.
“Medford has an excellent reputation for quality of programming and maintenance of U.S. Cellular Community Park,” Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department Director Rich Rosenthal said. “The playability, safety, and appearance of ball fields are of paramount importance for the continued maximum viability of this major community asset.”
The prescribed turf replacement is contained in the City’s long-term turf repair and maintenance plan that spans multiple budget cycles.
Meanwhile, the process to reconstruct the North Medford High tennis courts culminates next spring. The $508,658 contract cost is shared by the City and the Medford School District. Synchronizing the repairs into a single contract provided cost savings to both entities.
The City owns the five northerly courts, while the District is responsible for the southerly courts. All 10 courts are approximately 40 years old and require structural attention to maintain facility usefulness for tennis teams and the general public.
When complete, multiple courts will be striped for pickleball – a customary facility enhancement whenever City-maintained tennis courts are resurfaced. Pickleball is identified in Medford’s 2016 Leisure Services Plan as one of the most popular sports for active older adults.
Both capital improvement projects were approved through multiple public processes involving the Medford Parks and Recreation Commission, the Citizens Budget Committee, the Medford School District Board, and the Medford City Council.