Editor:

Recognizing that field space for our community is imperative, as City Manager, I’m recommending immediate funding to design a “temporary” multi-use sports field in the Civic Center with synthetic turf, fencing, lighting and portable restrooms. It is premature to program construction funding for three reasons: (1) the design process will give us a much more accurate estimate of the project’s actual construction cost (currently reflected as $3.25m  in FY18-19); (2) we will be working with our partners at the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District on opportunities for joint use and perhaps some form of joint funding; and (3) we will need to work with the Coastal Commission and the County Courts on strategies for addressing the loss of parking in the Civic Center and coastal area.

I have heard from a number of community members that the time line to start construction of the field is too far out.  Constructing a field is many facets.  We have put together the following rough and very accelerated planning and construction schedule, recognizing the potential for unanticipated delays:

Council approval of Capital Improvement Budget – June 2016

RFP for design, evaluate proposals, Council approval, and contract execution – October 2016

Design development, community outreach, and Coastal Commission approval (contingent upon parking relocation) – May 2017

Construction documentation – July 2017

Plan check – January 2018

Issue bids for construction, evaluation, Council award, contract execution – June 2018

Construction start – July 2018

We will work as quickly as possible to effectuate Council’s direction to ensure implementation of this element of the Civic Center Master Plan and the community’s desire for a temporary sports field.

Rick Cole

City Manager for the City of Santa Monica