Smith Park was officially reopened earlier this month with a Grand Opening ceremony, though the park's new football/soccer stadium has been hosting local youth sports teams for more than a month.
The new stadium is just one part of the $9-million park renovation project. In addition to the stadium’s artificial turf sports field with markings for both football and soccer, two soccer practice areas, bleachers, lights and a scoreboard, the park was upgraded with four new age-appropriate baseball fields with bleachers, dugouts, scoreboards and bullpens; soccer fields; a park wide P.A. system; new accessible playground; restroom and storage building; picnic facilities; and an expanded parking lot.
Residents and sports groups are giving the new facility rave reviews.
"The general consensus we are hearing so far is that we scored a touchdown with the new football/soccer stadium," said City Manager Ron Bates. “As the public gets the opportunity to use the rest of the park, I think everyone will be pleased with what we did and the enhancements we made to the Smith Park facilities,” said Public Works Director Art Cervantes.
The completion of the Smith Park renovations marks the end of the City’s multi-year $24 million Parks Master Plan, an effort to make much-needed improvements to a number of parks and recreational facilities throughout the City.
While it was inconvenient to shut down parks for a long period of time to make the renovations, the City wanted to take advantage of this unique opportunity to renovate its aging parks and meet the recreational needs of the community.