Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Grape Bowl work under way (updated Thursday)

Work began Monday on a $289,039 construction project at the Grape Bowl that will provide more access for disabled spectators, remove obsolete facilities and the trees that blocked viewing of the scoreboard at the west end.

So far, the trees at the Bowl's west end were removed, as well as the softball diamond backstops and dugouts. In the near future, the bare west embankment will be replanted with groundcover.

The concession stand structures on the north and south ends will be removed by the end of the week, and the project calls for the construction of concrete platform decks on the north and south ends to accommodate wheelchairs.

Removing the softball fields will allow three soccer games to be played simulateously on a north/south axis. It also will allow for an artificial surface to be installed.

The demolition work is being paid with San Joaquin County discretionary funds. The artificial turf will be purchased with development impact fees collected over the years from homebuilders specifically for an artificial turf field. The money is restricted for projects providing additional park use and can not be used for any other purpose.

Thursday update: Here's are two new pictures showing the gap where the north concession stand was removed Thursday morning. The south end will be removed by the end of Friday. It will cost roughly $1.5 million to build replacement concession stands and restrooms that meet Americans With Disabilities Act requirements. In the meantime, temporary restrooms will be in place for Grape Bowl functions and catering trucks will provide food and drinks for spectators.

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