Plans for new sports field taking shape
The new VCPUSD sports field will be built where the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Roe used to stand. Photo by Michael Crane / Valley Roadrunner
October 09, 2013The Valley Center – Pauma Unified School District (VCPUSD) is moving forward with their ambitions for a new sports field on the old site of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) buildings. With guidance from KLR Planning, VCPUSD held a public scoping meeting on Oct. 3 to gather input for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) regarding the new project.
The field, which would be located next to Valley Center Elementary School in the southeastern quadrant of Cole Grade and Valley Center School Roads, has already garnered controversy due to its location at the site of the recently-demolished CCC Camp.
Until March of this year, this 1.9 acre site was home to several Civilian Conservation Corps buildings that were constructed in 1933. Although they had not been in use since 2007, historic preservationists tried to save and maintain the buildings as historic landmarks.
Yet, despite the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Interest Group, VCPUSD abruptly demolished the buildings on March 18. The school district purchased the property in 2011.
Now, VCPUSD is proposing a sports field to encompass the entire site. Based on the input received at the meeting and any other comments submitted by Oct. 18, KLR Planning will prepare an EIR for the project.
"The sports field is intended for use by the Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District for youth sports to include lacrosse, soccer, and other sports," said Brittany Ruggles, speaking for KLR Planning. "The field would be accessible to community members for use outside school hours, and when not in use by the school district."
The proposed field would be fenced, but there would be no lighting so it would only be for daytime use.
In a letter to VCPUSD, Jonathan Vick, Chair of the CCC Camp Interest Group, argued that the site's historical significance was not being adequately addressed.
"The Notice of Preparation (for the EIR) fails to identify as a potential environmental effect the project's impact on the documented historic resources on the Project site and fails to acknowledge the proper baseline in the project description as including the historic buildings, their foundations and the historic value of the site as a whole," said Vick. "The project description also fails to describe the probable removal of the remaining building foundations on site and misleadingly and incompletely describes only minor surface grading."
To address these concerns, Vick stressed that the EIR must take into account the remnants of the historical buildings on the site in the project baseline, examine the impact of the project on the historical structures, and "provide feasible mitigation and/or alternatives for these significant project impacts."
Larry Glavinic, a Valley Center Parks and Recreation Board member, also had some suggestions for the EIR, mostly involving design issues. His two concerns were that the field would be flexible and designed to accommodate many kinds of sports, and that it would be visible from Cole Grade Road.
"You want people to be able to see so you don't end up with some sort of public hazard," said Glavinic at the scoping meeting.
The deadline for the public to comment on the preparation of the EIR is Oct. 18. After KLR Planning prepares the report, there will be an additional 45-day period for comments and suggestions before construction can begin.