The Birney Elementary Joint Use Field took a giant step closer to construction when, on October 5, my San Diego City Council colleagues unanimously supported my motion to approve the project. Long before I took office almost one year ago, I knew of the incredible need that both Birney Elementary and the surrounding University Heights community had for this joint use field. I knew of the long wait all have endured to see this project come to fruition, the coalition that moved the project forward and the commitment to the field by my predecessor, Toni Atkins.
The Birney Joint Use project includes a 1.6 acre irrigated turf multipurpose field, a .25 acre perimeter walkway, fencing and an accessible pathway onto the field from the corner of Meade Avenue and Park Boulevard. It is anticipated that ground will be broken in December and the field will be open for use by next fall.
A combination of Uptown Community Planning Area's Development Impact Fees and State Proposition 40 grants completed the full funding necessary for the City to move forward with construction. In light of the City‟s current financial challenges, it is important to note that these funds were allocated responsibly and could not have been used for general City purposes.
I hope you share my high level of excitement that this project cleared massive hurdles by becoming fully funded and approved by the City Council. With the unfortunate financial realities facing the City, California and so many of us personally, neighbors should take enormous pride in knowing that this field is one of only three Park and Recreation Department projects moving forward this year in the City of San Diego. This is largely due to the fact that Birney students, parents and faculty and University Heights neighbors have fought so hard for so long to make this joint use field a reality.
I will keep the community up to date with information about this long-awaited project. I look forward to working in continued partnership with our neighbors to deliver more services and amenities that you deserve.