If you’ve driven by the recently, you may have noticed some tree removal and fencing for construction work. The city has started a capital improvement project on the 3.04 acre tract formerly known as the Kattelmann property that will include two new multi-use synthetic turf fields, built-in natural terraced seating, and a wall ball facility built into a planned retaining wall.

The upgrades are part of improvements designated through the 2018 to add more field space for sports such as soccer and lacrosse. Maintaining field space has been a continual challenge for the city due to its dense population, high participation numbers, and limited acreage, says Director of Recreation and Citizen Engagement Rachel Leininger. A citizen-led task force was appointed by the mayor in 2018 to come up with a collective design for the property that would maximize its potential.

A Land Conservation Grant for $456,549 will fund a portion of the project, with the remaining $1,902,953 will be funded through the city’s Capital Improvement Fund and a municipal bond. The fields will be installed end-to-end in a north/south configuration, with terraced seating cut into the hill at the west side of the property nearest Springfield Pike, with player seating on the opposite side. The project includes planting trees and landscaping along Springfield Pike.

Two new synthetic will be part of the improvements made at the Recreation Center this summer.

In addition, the plans call for a new paved access path on the south side of the Recreation Center property to link to the sidewalk on the east (northbound) side of Springfield Pike. This will allow for a safer pedestrian access that by-passes the narrow sidewalk on that runs close to the road, says Leininger.

Construction is expected to wrap up in late August or early September.