Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Grape Bowl update: Lighting upgrades, wheelchair ramps under construction

The Grape Bowl has new lights, has a new wheelchair ramp under construction, and may have an all-weather surface ready to play on by mid-summer of 2010.

The new lights were installed last week. They provide roughly three times the amount of light while using a third of the electricity of the previous lights. Not only are these lights energy-efficient, they can be turned on and adjusted via a secure Internet connection, making it convenient for City staff to work on the lights remotely for the convenience of Grape Bowl users.

Here are a couple pictures of the new ramp that will make it easier for individuals in wheelchairs to get from the handicap parking area to the stadium's top level. The grade is less than 2 percent.

The ADA work is scheduled to be completed in March, the same month the City Council is tentatively scheduled to put the all-weather surface project out to bid. The new field surface is being paid from development impact fees collected in previous years to provide community facilities.

With the City Council's approval, the turf would be installed in June-July, after high school graduations and before high school football season begins.

The improvements are designed to make the Grape Bowl more user-friendly and attractive for the competitive and recreational athlete, and other large-scale events, such as outdoor concerts.

Last year, George Thorogood & the Destroyers performed at the Grape Bowl, the first concert by a nationally known artist at the venue in 30 years. The Parks & Recreation Department is continuing discussions with concert promoters in hopes of bringing other well-known acts to the Grape Bowl later this year.

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