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Rec Council endorses artificial turf proposal at Gage Elementary

By John Pilch

The proposed joint-use agreement to install artificial turf on the dirt field at Gage Elementary School on Bisby Lake Avenue was the major action item at the May 20 meeting of the San Carlos/Lake Murray Recreation Council.

After hearing from speakers in opposition and in favor of the proposed project, the Rec Council voted unanimously in favor of the project, with the chair not voting but in favor of the project.

The council made the following recommendations to the city Park & Recreation Board for consideration at their June 18 meeting: 1) The surface should be the modern type of artificial turf; 2) No lights are to be placed in or around the field area; 3) Access gates are to be locked at dusk, especially on weekends; 4) The track around the fields should be 10 feet wide rather than 5 feet; 5) An extra hour before and after school should be added for the school’s use for students; 6) Some type of noise reduction should be installed around the site; 7) Signage should indicate that “No pets are allowed on the field;” 8) Both ramps to the field site should remain open, rather than just one from Hudson Drive.

Many thanks to all the residents who took the time to attend the meeting and provide valuable testimony to the rec council. It was great to see an overflow crowd who learned what the Rec Council does in and for the community.

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The vast dirt expanse at Gage Elementary may soon be replaced with artificial turf.
(Photo by Jeremy Ogul)

We’re pleased to report that the outdoor basketball courts at the Rec Center were recently re-surfaced and repainted. The cracks in the surface were filled in with resin to make for a much better and even playing surface, and the blue paint in the “keys” adds to the look of the facility. Play on the refurbished courts has increased since the work was completed.

The indoor summer basketball program, run by Combine 5, is full. The season starts on July 11. To view the program and for more info, please visit www.Combine5.com.

We’re happy to report that a new Crafts Program will hopefully begin in July. It will be an all-encompassing program, with many crafts involved, on a weekly basis on Tuesdays at 4 p.m.

On a negative note, one concrete picnic bench and a concrete trash container at Lake Murray Community Park were recently vandalized. The damage is irreparable and necessitates replacements. The vandals left behind two empty alcoholic beverage bottles, which presumably fueled their disrespect for park property. If you saw anything or anyone who caused the damage on Tuesday or Wednesday, June 9 or 10, please call Kristy Wells, the San Carlos Rec Center Director, at 619-527-3443.

With respect to the drought, watering has been reduced at all city parks. San Diego Park & Recreation Deputy Director Kathy Ruiz said her target is a 25 percent reduction of water use, which is higher than the 16 percent reduction requested by Mayor Kevin Faulconer. We’ve been asked to remind all sports field users that no watering is allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., as ordered by the mayor and City Council. That includes no watering of the fields between games during the day. Violators may jeopardize their permits to use the fields. Please help to conserve water and abide by this mandate.

We recently were advised that T-Mobile is seeking a telecom site along the fence line, adjacent to the basketball courts and along the left field line of the baseball field. The two proposed poles are 70 feet high, with light standards at the top of both. More information will be made available as it is received, especially if the item is to be on the Rec Council meeting agenda for Wednesday, July 15.

One final item deals with the Lake Murray Community Park, especially the area near the playground. As was previously reported, the new shade structure on the south side of the playground has been installed, with thanks to Councilmember Scott Sherman and his San Carlos representative, Ryley Webb. The structure covers the existing ADA-compliant picnic table. We’re pleased to report that another double ADA-compliant picnic table has been ordered and hopefully will have been installed by the time you read this article. The Rec Council made this purchase with funds donated by the Lake Murray Playground Project Committee to enhance the area adjacent to the playground and to allow for more picnics to occur under the shade structure. We hope you enjoy the playground, which is almost three years old and still looking great. The equipment gets a lot of use, which is terrific. That’s the reason it was installed — for the community and our neighbors.

That’s it. We hope you enjoy visiting the San Carlos Recreation Center and the other parks in our community and take advantage of the available programs. If you have questions or need more information, please contact the Rec Center at 619-527-3443. Kristy and her staff will be happy to assist.

—John Pilch is the chair of the San Carlos-Lake Murray Recreation Council.

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