Edgewater Park will be the latest in Foster City to have synthetic turf on its athletic fields as the City Council approved plans and specifications at its Monday night meeting.
The work includes new trees, picnic tables and benches, irrigation system upgrades and other exterior improvements. It is slated to be completed by September 2014.
The city started using synthetic turf in 2009 and this will be the fifth park it has upgraded with sports field design in mind. Edgewater is a multi-use park with a baseball and soccer field, basketball court, tennis court, playground and dog walking space, said Kevin Miller, director of Foster City’s Parks and Recreation Department.
“It’s really a diverse park, so even with this addition, I think you’re still going to get the sense that you’re in a natural park, not an artificial park,” Miller said.
Parks based around athletic activities can benefit from using synthetic turf. Lights already exist around the fields at Edgewater so the turf will allow the city to host night soccer games for kids, Miller said. Unlike grass, synthetic turf requires less maintenance and will provide more flexibility of use.
“We think it provides a safe surface for athletic play and it extends our seasons because we don’t have as much downtime for maintenance,” Miller said.
Foster City sits on a shallow water table and fields often flood during winter, said Assistant City Manager Steve Toler. Synthetic turf is more resilient and will help them reduce long-term costs, Toler said.
Budget cuts have forced the city to cut down on personnel, so maintenance costs to upkeep grass are considerable. The synthetic turf doesn’t have to be mowed and will significantly reduce water and fertilization costs, Miller said.
According to a staff report, the city has budgeted $1,760,000 toward the construction, contingency and design of the synthetic field, along with the other improvements, Miller said.
The plan was originally approved in June as a capital improvement project and finances were approved during the last fiscal year. The council unanimously approved the plans and specifications of the park’s enhancement at Monday’s meeting, Miller said.
The city will open calls for bids in December and plans on beginning construction in March 2014, according to the staff report. An engineer projected the actual costs could be around $100,000 lower then what’s allotted in the cities budget $1,647,000, Miller said.
“It’s a competitive bid environment, so we hope to come within that budget mark,” Miller said.
Edgewater Park is located at 800 Polaris Ave. in Foster City.