Article - Office of College Advancement

Ohlone AD unhappy with condition of sporting fields

By Wes Bowers.

Thursday, March 8, 2007—Reprinted from Fremont Bulletin.

Ohlone College athletics field.Ohlone College athletic field.

Ohlone Athletic Director Paul Moore expressed his concern over the condition of the school's athletic fields during the Feb. 28 Ohlone Community College Board of Trustees meeting.

While not an item on the board's agenda, during the meeting's public comments section, Moore said he was disappointed in the impasse both sides of the discussion had reached.

"We have a proposal for a new stadium with a synthetic turf and surface," Moore said. "But we just can't come to an agreement."

He said none of the current athletic fields at Ohlone College have proper drainage systems.

Moore said on the soccer and softball fields, French drains a ditch filled with gravel, rock or sand that redirects surface and ground water away from an area were once built, but today were not properly draining the fields.

"Unfortunately, the campus was built on a sludgy black surface, and when you get a lot of rain, it gets into the sludge," he said. "Then the fields just hold it for ages. Your feet literally get stuck sometimes."

As a result of the fields' poor conditions, Moore said there have been injuries, including twisted ankles and knees.

Additionally, Moore said the baseball field in particular slopes into the outfield. He said the left field corner of the field is the lowest point, and water from a nearby canyon drains into the corner.

Now, Moore said he hopes a new stadium for baseball, softball or soccer can be built.

Moore said one of the issues in a new facility's delay is where to put the new stadium.

He said the college's stadium master plan calls for the facility to be placed where the old football field used to be, below the campus tennis courts, and above the soccer field.

However, Moore said when a site survey was done on the campus, all the soil from the survey was placed onto the old football field site.

"Now that site's just a landfill," he said. "In order to even prep that field would cost about $1 million, and I just don't think that's worth it."

Moore said he was also concerned with placing the field near the wires that hang over that tract of land.

Another proposal, which Moore said he would support, is to build the new stadium at Ohlone's Newark campus.

"There are some people against it," he said. "They felt that putting a field there would do damage to the program there, but it won't."

Ohlone College is in the midst of building its Newark campus, which will house courses catering to the health and technology fields. The campus west of Newark Memorial High School is expected to be completed next spring.

A third option would be developing the college's frontage property along Mission Boulevard.

While the board could not comment on the item at the meeting, board President Nick Nardolillo said he agrees that better athletic facilities are needed at the school.

"I have also been a proponent of developing the frontage property to generate more revenue for the college district," Nardolillo said. "Dr. Treadway and I have put this at the forefront of what we want to accomplish this year. Hopefully we can get the rest of the board's approval and act on this as swiftly as is prudently possible."

At a Feb. 12 meeting, the board voted 4-0 to develop the frontage property. Board member Dan Archer was absent, while members Bill McMillin and John Weed abstained.

Ohlone President Douglas Treadway asserted the property is going to be developed into an apartment and retail project, which should produce additional revenue for the college.

He said Moore's concerns will be addressed at the March 14 board meeting.

"Anything he said at the meeting I wouldn't disagree with," Treadway said. "We have a couple choices for a solution, and we'll have the board deliberate Wednesday to see if we can't agree on what to do."

Moore said he is still very hopeful movement will happen on a new stadium.

"I think the majority of the board is here to do the right thing for the community," he said. "I think there are board members with their own agendas, but if we can get them to drop those agendas, we'll be fine."

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