Field improvements will soon begin at Randall Field. A partnership between DPR/DGS, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, and Under Armour have teamed up for the effort, which includes a new turf field, scoreboard, and dugouts for youth baseball/softball and soccer. The position of the ball field on the southwest corner of Randall Field will shift from its current configuration to the northwest corner. A turf field will do a better job of water drainage than grass and will result in more use of the field. Only one of the fields will be turf – the other ball field on the southeast corner will remain grass due to lack of funding. According to Mark Bacus from DGS, there will be a seamless transition between the turf and grass field.
The revised plans for Randall Field were presented at a community meeting on Tuesday evening. Most of the attendees seemed to be in support of the changes, but there was some opposition from those who currently use the field for adult leagues. The changes to the field will accommodate youth sports to the detriment of adult sports leagues due to the source of donated funds for the project.
Construction on the field should be complete by early November. Funding for this project only covers the ball field area – there is currently no funding available to make improvements to the tennis and basketball courts. However, other areas of Randall have recently been improved or will soon undergo renovations. Earlier this summer, the playground reopened at Randall with an ocean life theme and construction activity at the community center building began in late July – new windows and doors will be installed and should be done by September. The window and door replacement was funded by a $200,000 donation from The Bernstein Companies as a part of the PUD agreement for their Town Square East development. In addition, DPR has $250,000 available to make ADA-compliant improvements, but they are seeking more funds in the FY 2017 budget to make additional improvements. There was some confusion at the community meeting about where the $250,000 came from and whether there was additional funds available in the budget for improvements (for instance, $250,000 was secured in the soccer stadium community benefits agreement for improvements to Randall). DPR wanted to solicit ideas from the audience for what additional improvements should be made, but the majority of the time allotted was used up by discussion about the ball fields and amount of renovation dollars available for the Community Center. Therefore, a follow-up community meeting is scheduled for August 26 at 6pm to brainstorm ideas for renovating Randall Community Center.
Rendering courtesy of DGS