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Houseman Field Renovations


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New renderings were recently presented to the GRPS Finanacial Committee. I thought that I had started a prior thread on the Houseman Field renovations, but I couldn't find it.

In case you haven't been keeping up, GRPS managed to come in under budget on some of the capital improvement projects in their last bond issue, so the remaining money is being used to give Houseman Field a very much needed renovation. We were told at one of the meetings that the astroturf on concrete field had gotten so bad that it was starting to be considered dangerous to the athletes.

I have been working to push the designers to realize that if you put in more bicycle parking and encourage people to travel to the games using alternative transportation they can help reduce the required number of parking spaces.

In addition to the new field, it is my understanding that new/better track & field sport amenities are also being included on the north side of the site.

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This is a great idea in concept.

However, having participated in and been a spectator at many events at Houseman, the majority of people who attended did not live within 10 miles of the stadium. Many came from out of town and their parents would drive in to see them. Even with the current parking, the entire neighborhood would turn in to one big giant parking lot.

I love this stadium and I am so happy that it is going to get some TLC. But this is a place that could use some more parking. Just try to find a spot when there is a track invitational! I always felt bad for the teams and their fans from places like Greenville and Muskegon.

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I didn't necessarily mean that they should replace regular parking spots with bicycle parking, although, I realize that it could be read that way. What I meant was that you could reduce the parking pressures if you encourage those who do live within a 3-5 mile radius to get there using means besides the automobile. The teams and districts involved should also work to encourage carpooling and other ways to reduce the need for parking. Perhaps they already do this? Do they also use the parking lot at the Farmer's Market for overflow parking? I know that some people think that walking 5 blocks is a chore (except when it's to walk from one side of the mall to the other), but it seems like this would be a good use of that lot and it would only be a 5-7 minute walk.
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Again, a great idea in concept and I totally agree with the premise. However, it is important to take in to consideration factors that people think about when deciding to walk somewhere. First, most football games are played at night and unfortunately this is a neighborhood that is not viewed as safe to walk in at night. Most track meets also manage to go in to the night, too.

Second, I have no problem walking 5 blocks from a parking area like the Farmer's market. But that is a long five blocks, if that is how close it is. Regardless, this was never presented as an option and therefore is not where people park. They look for the closest place, especially when they are from out of town; the default place to park is a side street, both ways, which creates more headaches and problems.

The Farmer's market idea: How about setting up some bus/shuttles to and from the lot? Maybe that would help?

And yes, most of us who competed there came on busses or we carpooled. We were ahead of our times! ;)

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  • 2 months later...

The official groundbreaking for this is tomorrow morning (Earth Day, for real. :) )

I've been taking some photos the past three Saturdays for the Midtown Neighborhood Association.


These are all from 4/18.







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Yes, the old concessions building on the NW corner is remaining. As well as the brick kiosks along the perimeter. The visitors entrance is just to the east of the NW buiding.

The cinderblock building on the SE corner was torn down as well as the press box that looked like a mobile home. Guess you could call that part "rebuild."




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