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Lincoln Park Stadium renovation improvement update

Two new items were discussed at the City Council meeting regarding the Lincoln Park Stadium renovation. The conversion of stadium lighting to LED and replacing the baseball field with artificial turf.
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 11:48 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 12:23 AM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Wednesday evening, two new items were discussed at the Grand Junction City Council meeting regarding the Lincoln Park Stadium renovation and improvements. The conversion of stadium lighting to LED and replacing the baseball field with artificial turf.

The $10.5 million renovation project is a partnership with the City of Grand Junction, Colorado Mesa University, JUCO, and Mesa County Valley School District 51 with a completion date of May 9 in time for graduations. There are many improvements but the two additional improvements, artificial turf and LED lights, were not in the initial budget in the 2019 master plan.

Both of these improvements were part of the initial plan but reliant on grants. Which were unfortunately denied due to inflation costs. The LED lighting would save energy and improve safety because they can be turned on and off immediately versus the current lighting system.

Chairman of the Parks Improvement Advisory Board Bruce Hill said the lighting can be done without disrupting other improvements currently underway.

The LED lighting would save 42% in energy costs which is about $20,000 a year in savings. The quality would also be enhanced.

“One example is over at Stocker,” said Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Director Ken Sherbenou. “CMU cannot have evening football games because its not bright enough and they can’t televise some of their evening games. So LED lights would enable evening games to be televised.”

Another benefit to LED lights is the current system takes 15 to 20 minutes for the lights to come back on after being turned off.

“And that’s a safety concern as people are exiting the stadium after fireworks shows and whatnot,” said Sherbenou. “With LED you’d be able to turn them off and turn them right back on.”

In 2007, $1 million was invested to renovate Stocker Stadium and put in artificial turf. Since then the city has seen tremendous increase in utilization and would like to do the same to Suplizio field.

“Regarding the artificial turf, currently it’s natural turf at Suplizio,” said Sherbenou. “And we’d like to make it artificial turf to increase the usage, to achieve savings in water and maintenance.”

But due to the $1.4 million price tag beyond the current budget, the council decided to wait until next year to go forward. Even though it leads to long-term savings with our current drought. As the artificial turf would save almost 4 million gallons of water a year, and The current natural turf costs $98,000 a year just to maintain.

The LED lighting was approved Wednesday at the meeting. So come fall of this year, that will be completed. The council wants to go forward with the artificial turf next year which will save on water usage with our current drought, and save in maintenance.

Another improvement brought up Wednesday is the replacement of the outfield fence with a padded fence, which will improve safety of the players. This will be discussed in the 2023 budget.

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