By Nick Palm
Construction of a new soccer field at Ocean campus, just east of Batmale Hall, has begun and should be completed by the end of the semester.
The project has been in the works since 2004 as part of the college’s Master Plan. The new Wellness Center was built after approval by the Board of Trustees on the previous site of City College’s soccer practice field.
According to Peter Goldstein, vice chancellor of finance and administration, the final plans for the new field were approved by the Board of Trustees during the last academic year. The total cost of the 110 by 70 yard field will be roughly $3 million.
Since the Wellness Center construction began, the Rams have played all home games at either Crocker Amazon Park or Boxer Field at Balboa Park. Most practices have been held at Crocker Amazon Park.
“We’re really happy that we’re going to have a home field on campus. It’s going to make things a lot easier for the players, coaches, and administrators; everyone involved,” said Gabriel Saucedo, head coach of the women’s soccer team.
“We did a lot of research in terms of the type of artificial surface,” Saucedo said. “We called a lot of colleges and universities to figure out which was the best way to go.”
The field will be comprised of the newest generation artificial turf, which is designed for durability. It will require less maintenance than grass and needs no irrigation system. The field itself will last much longer. It won’t warp or become wavy after heavy rains, and gophers will never be able to call it their home.
Saucedo added, “We made sure the dimensions of the field fulfill the minimum requirements of collegiate soccer regulations.”
During the field’s planning stages, the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association expressed concern on several issues the new field would create, such as added traffic, parking and noise.
Since then, the SNA has been included in all planning meetings for the new field. All concerns have been addressed during the meetings and the SNA and City College have since come to an agreement, according to Saucedo.
Although no exact date of completion has been announced, the soccer community is hopeful that the last games of the season can be played on the new field.
No bleachers or audience seating will be built at the new site, but games can be viewed from multiple locations, including the plaza at Batmale Hall, overlooking the football field. The side of the hill leading down from Batmale Hall will also be a prime spot to watch games.
In response to low attendance at City College soccer matches over the past few years, Saucedo added, “Now that we’re on campus, we’re hoping to get a way better turnout to our games.”