County Board Approves Synthetic Turf Diamond Field, New Picnic Shelte

Published on July 14, 2018

  • Converting Gunston Park diamond field to synthetic turf

  • Replacing Glencarlyn Park picnic shelter

The Arlington County Board today approved the award of two contracts to make improvements to two County Parks.

The Board approved the award of a $2 million contract to Bennett Group, Inc. to convert a grass diamond playing field at Gunston Park to the County's second synthetic turf diamond field. The Arlington Sports Foundation, an Arlington non-profit that raises funds for capital improvements to sports fields and facilities throughout the County, is helping fund the project.

"The support of the Arlington Sports Foundation and community donors made it possible to convert this field to synthetic turf, which will make it available to more people more often, and give teams an outstanding field for play," Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said.

Gunston Park Diamond Athletic Field #1 was approved for a capital maintenance project as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 Pay-As-You-Go budget. The plan at the time was to maintain the field as a grass field. The Arlington Sports Foundation then offered to help the County meet the costs of converting the field from natural grass to synthetic turf to allow for year-round play, adding nearly 880 possible playing hours to the field.

[caption id="attachment_17715" align="alignright" width="300"]Gunston Park diamond field Current Gunston Park diamond field.[/caption]

The Foundation raised $180,000 of the $370,000 needed for the conversion, and the Arlington Sports Commission recommended allocating $190,000 from the Arlington County Diamond Field Fund to complete the project.

In April, the County Board authorized the County Manager to accept the Arlington Sports Foundation funding, and to use money from the Diamond Field Fund to offset the balance needed to convert the grass to turf. In June, the County held a a final public meeting to share its field renovation plans.

Minimal changes to layout of existing recreation facilities

The project makes minimal changes to the layout of the existing recreation facilities while addressing current facility standards, stormwater requirements and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliance. The renovations will include a new synthetic diamond field complete with new field lights, dugouts, backstop, batting cage, fencing and spectator seating. In addition, site circulation, site lighting, site furnishings, drainage and stormwater management, fencing and landscaping will be installed.

The Board voted unanimously to approved the contract in adopting the Consent Agenda. To read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 35 on the Agenda for the July 14, 2018 Regular County Board Meeting.

Construction should begin this summer, with the field completed for Opening Day next year.

New picnic shelter and parking at Glencarlyn Park

The County Board also approved a $684,000 contract to replace picnic shelter #2 in the heavily-used 95-plus-acre Glencarlyn Park, 301 S. Harrison Street, and renovate the adjacent parking lot. Crown Construction was awarded the contract in a competitive bidding process.

[caption id="attachment_17713" align="alignright" width="300"]Glencarlyn Park picnic shelter. Rendering of planned Glencarlyn Park picnic shelter.[/caption]

The new shelter and adjacent parking lot, which lie within a Resources Protection Area and 100-year flood plain along Four Mile Run stream, required careful design to protect the beautiful surround trees surrounding the shelter and Four Mile Run stream.

"The County has become increasingly sensitive to the need to be good stewards to the environment as we renovate and upgrade our parks," Cristol said. "Thoughtful, careful design is developing beautiful, functional and environmentally sound park amenities that our community will enjoy for generations."

To minimize disturbance of the natural area, staff designed the updated shelter to be placed on the same location as the former shelter. Stone and Douglas Fir will be used in building the new shelter, to complement the feel of the site.

The County also is requiring the contractor to use special techniques during demolition and construction — including hand excavation, smaller, lighter machinery and air spading, a technique that uses pressurized air to excavate around tree roots to protect trees and site conditions.

In addition to replacing Picnic Shelter #2, the picnic shelter that is closest to the playground and restroom, and renovating the parking lot, the project will include improvements to the open picnic area, landscaping, signage, drainage and path improvements. The Board voted unanimously to approve the contract as part of the Consent Agenda.

To read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 36 on the Agenda for the Saturday, July 14, 2018 Regular County Board Meeting. The project is funded by Park Maintenance Capital. Construction is expected to start by the end of the year and will be completed in time for the summer 2019 picnic season.