Central Park under construction

Central+Park+under+construction

Max Walker, Staff Writer

Central Park is one of the best known parks in the Bay Area, having everything from a fun and active community center to many baseball and soccer fields.

But high schoolers will not be able to play basketball or skate at their beloved park for about a year.

These facilities were temporarily closed on Sept. 2 to allow for the construction of the new City Hall building.

The basketball courts have been demolished and may be relocated in the future, while the skate park will only be closed during construction and will be repaved after completion. The skate park is scheduled to re-open in the fall of 2015.

“I’m disappointed,” junior Aria Saberi said. “Central Park was a good place to hang out and play basketball with friends.”

The plot of land next to that section of the park has been the subject of rumors for many years. The city has been planning to build something in that area. But with the demolition of the basketball courts, the City is coming closer to their goal.

“Our goal in San Ramon is to create a cost effective City Center,” said Assistant City Manager Eric Figueroa. “By using a piece of property we owned and working with Sunset Development company we are going to build a City Hall with no general fund expenditures.”

The widely known basketball courts were a great exercise alternative for people without gym memberships.

From teens to adults, people came from all around the Bay Area to play basketball at Central Park, especially at night under the lights.

“It was competitive but fun,” said sophomore Jordan Bandtell. “You could go out there and play a good game while having fun doing it.”

Central Park had two basketball courts, both of which were in great shape. All of the paint and backboards were clean and precise.

These courts were a safe place for kids of all ages to play basketball, and the most appealing factor about them was their around-the-clock lighting availability.

Just as popular as the basketball courts was the skate park, which included many ramps, railings, bowls, and more. It was very spacious and was never crowded or cramped.

The skate park was one of the very few located in this area.

“The next closest skate park is in Livermore,” said senior Alex Bru. “But it is bad.”

In recent years, there have been many legal issues and confrontations at the skate park. Parents have reported many cases of drugs being used and fights breaking out. This led the city to question the true safety of the park.

While San Ramon is trying to find a new location in Central Park to build another basketball court, this would lead to the destruction of another part of the park. Then, the city would need to relocate that part of Central Park and it would become an ongoing cycle.

It will be very difficult to replace Central Park’s basketball courts. San Ramon is a very crowded city with more and more buildings being constructed every day.

The City Hall project that led to the demolition of the courts  is a $14 million building that will be located on the southwest corner of Central Park next to Bollinger Canyon Road.