The First for Turf: Rumrill Park in San Pablo
On Tuesday, September 8th the City of San Pablo held the ribbon cutting ceremony for Rumrill Park, the City’s first synthetic turf soccer facility. The road from conception to completion of construction had been a long one. The City and their design team persevered through a number of hurdles, including the dissolution of the City Redevelopment Agency and difficulties in remediating the contaminated site, before successfully completing construction.
The road to construction started back in the late 2000’s when the City of San Pablo’s Redevelopment Department identified the Rumrill property as a potential park site. The residents of San Pablo were in dire need of more park space – with only a 1/2 acre or park space per every 1,000 residents. In 2011 Callander Associates assisted the City in conducting a successful public outreach campaign to determine what the citizens felt were their greatest park needs. Based on input received from the public outreach the Rumrill Park concept plan was created identifying three lighted synthetic turf youth soccer fields and a practice area, a playground, picnic area, restrooms, and parking. The concept plan and public comments were utilized to apply for a Proposition 84 grant to secure funding for the park. The grant rewards were released in 2012 and Rumrill Park received a 3 million dollar grant! With the addition of Measure WW funds and funding provided by the City itself, the table was set to make this project a reality.
The City’s environmental consultant, Ninyo & Moore, worked with the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) to produce a Soils Removal Work Plan. The approved plan proposed two options:
- removal of all contaminated soils
- removal of the top layer of soils and capping the site
Option 1 was chosen by the City to minimize future maintenance and liability. The design for the fields was based on total removal and the project went out to bid in January 2014. After the project was awarded and construction had begun, the first round of construction soil samples came in with much higher than expected levels of contamination. More samples were taken and it was discovered that the amount of contaminated soil that would need to be removed was double to triple the amount determined from initial soil samples.
So what do you do when a project is under construction and it’s discovered that the project costs might double? On this project, the City and design team worked together to find a solution to keep costs down. We went back to the DTSC to see if we could change the design mid-stream and cap the site instead of totally removing all contaminated soils. Construction stopped while we worked through the DTSC process, but we got DTSC to approve the design change! Callander and their sub-consultants set back to work to re-design the project to account for capping the site instead of designing for a clean site and, after a delay in construction, the contractor was back to work.
When construction ended earlier this month, the end result was a beautiful 3 acre synthetic turf soccer facility with restrooms, a picnic area, playground, food kiosk, parking and low-maintenance landscaping. The synthetic turf field stretches from property line to property line to allow for maximum use by the youth of San Pablo for years to come.
Matt Gruber, Project Manager