The Pleasanton City Council Tuesday awarded construction agreements to start a $16.5-million expansion of Bernal Community Park that will include new sports fields and a "Grand Meadow" called Oak Woodland.
The project will include three lighted multi-purpose all-weather synthetic sports fields, small grass areas, group picnic areas, an area for children's play equipment and drinking fountains. These fields will be an extension of the two lighted baseball fields built several years ago and will include playing areas and bleachers for soccer, rugby, lacrosse, youth football and more baseball fields.
The Oak Woodland area includes asphalt and decomposed granite walkways, benches and a boardwalk with trees and foliage that will eventually make this a dense forest-like park for strollers, relaxing and family get-togethers. All of the new landscape will be irrigated with recycled water.
A split rail fence will replace the chain link fence at the end of the park along Bernal Avenue and along Oak Vista Way, the park's border with homes built on the Bernal site more than 10 years ago.
The council voted unanimously to award the contracts and start construction but only after deleting for the time being the installation of shrubbery until the current drought is over and also a shade screen that would protect sports spectators from the sun. That, too, could be added later.
Following the council's action, construction is expected to start next month and be completed in the fall of next year. Some if not all of the fields should be ready for play in the fall of 2016.
After reviewing 10 bids from contractors, the council accepted the recommendation of city staff and awarded the main contract in the amount of $12,186,991 to Goodland Landscape Construction of Tracy.
Other contracts went to Valley Precision Grading for $2,090,778 for the purchase and installation of all-weather turf fields, and to Harris Design for $408,861, the project's landscape architect, to provide construction support services.
Representatives of Pleasanton's major youth sports organizations have pledged to reimburse the city with $2 million to be raised through fundraisers. In the meantime, the city will borrow that amount from a reserve fund so that the Bernal project can get underway now.
Eight sports leagues signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that calls for them to launch a fundraising campaign pay for part of the Bernal park project. A unique aspect of the MOU is that in the event that within 90 days after the opening of Phase II of Bernal Park, the fundraising campaign has not raised the target amount, then each participating sports group will provide its share of the outstanding fundraising balance over a period of 10 years after the date of the park's opening.
"This MOU really reflects a significant spirit of collaboration that is assisting the city in meeting project funding for this phase of Bernal Park development," City Manager Nelson Fialho said.
Bernal Community Park is a 318 acre tract of city-owned land that was given to the city of Pleasanton in 2000 by Greenbriar Homes.
The developer, with its partners, paid $126 million to acquire the 510-acre Bernal property from the city of San Francisco, which had owned the acreage since the 1930s. At that time, Greenbriar and KB Home received approvals to build 530 homes and apartments on Bernal, which have been completed and are now occupied.
Voters approved the Bernal park master plan two years ago.