The city's middle schools may soon have some parity when it comes to playing field quality, after City Council members supported a plan Tuesday for new track and field at Crittenden Middle School.
The $1.4 million proposal would replace Crittenden's western-most softball field with a track and field similar to that of Graham Middle School's. The 100-yard field could be used for football, soccer, lacrosse or rugby. The turf would be synthetic, allowing it to be used all year. The grass fields now there have to be closed for three months every year to keep the grass alive.
"The word we use is equity," said Mountain View Whisman school board member Ellen Wheeler as she thanked the city for working cooperatively with the school district on the fields, one of many the city maintains for the school district. District staff also praised the project.
Construction on the new fields is expected in 2015. The softball teams that use the Crittenden field slated for replacement have been told that the city's new ball fields near Shoreline Park, on Garcia Avenue, should be ready to use by then.
Wheeler and others also thanked the city for planning to extend the Permanente Creek Trail along the edge of Crittenden, providing a route to the new Shoreline ball fields for students.
Not included in the project is a concessions stand, which exists at Graham, council member John McAlister pointed out.
In 2006, the city installed the track and field at Graham above an eight-million gallon underground emergency water reservoir, a $12 million project. City staff members said the artificial turf there is near the end of its life.