City gets $1 million state grant to help build new sports facility in central Fontana

4 July 2017

The City of Fontana's proposal to build a new sports facility in the central part of the city was bolstered by a $1 million grant from the state last month.

The California State Parks Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS) announced that the grant will be provided in order to help the city construct an artificial turf soccer field, field lighting and water conservation measures at Fontana Central City Soccer Park.

This planned 12.7-acre facility, which would be located behind the Cypress Center at 8380 Cypress Avenue, would be used for football and soccer games, according to Luis Villalobos, the park development coordinator for the city.

The scale and quality of this facility is similar to the existing Ralph M. Lewis Sports Complex in northern Fontana and would include one field designated for soccer and two football fields with soccer overlays.

If all of the city's plans for this project come to fruition, the horseshoe area presently at this site will be relocated with new equipment installed. The community garden will be also be relocated and will continue to provide an area for residents to grow their own products, Villalobos said in a report on the city's website.

"Central City Park will enhance the connection between the downtown area, the City Hall campus, Miller Park, the Lewis Library, and the Rose Garden/historical site," Villalobos said. "Central City Park will also provide a trail head to the Pacific Electric Trail, providing restroom facilities and rest areas for the hundreds of people that walk or bike this trail."

In the 2008-2009 budget, the City Council approved a design with sports fields, but due to lack of funds at the time, the city put the project on hold. Now the awarding of the state grant will help push the project forward.

City Manager Ken Hunt said the total cost of the project could be about $7 million. He said he is hoping that enough funds can be allocated for the park to be built within the next few years.

"I applaud the City of Fontana for working with state agencies to building quality of life amenities for our communities. Building adequate recreational facilities are an important component to developing a sustainable community where people choose to live, work and play," said Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes, who made the announcement of the state grant.