Walker Com­mu­nity Park get­ting ren­o­va­tions

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Mike Bush NEWS-SEN­TINEL SPORTS WRITER

GALT — There are three ath­letic fa­cil­i­ties in Galt that have all-turf field.

Now one of them will re­ceive funds to ex­pand its fa­cil­ity.

Dur­ing a cer­e­mony at the State Capi­tol on Mon­day, Assem­bly­man Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) of­fi­cially de­liv­ered $1.7 mil­lion in state fund­ing to the City of Galt. That money will go to­ward much-needed ren­o­va­tions at Walker Com­mu­nity Park.

“(Mon­day) was a mo­men­tous day for the City of Galt,” Cooper said in an email state­ment. “It’s an honor to de­liver this crit­i­cal fund­ing for the res­i­dents of the City of Galt, one of the fastest grow­ing cities in our re­gion.”

In June, Gov. Gavin New­som signed the 2019-20 state bud­get, which in­cluded $1.7 mil­lion in fund­ing that Cooper spear­headed to the park, which has an all-turf field used for youth foot­ball and soc­cer games. There are grass fields out­side of the all-turf field, a play­ground and bar­be­cue pits.

The Galt and Lib­erty Ranch boys and girls’ soc­cer teams have played their home and SacJoaquin Sec­tion play­off games at the park most of this decade. The Galt Jr. War­riors and Lib­erty Ranch Jr. Hawks youth foot­ball teams have also played their home games at the park.

Ar­mando So­lis, the Parks and Recre­ation direc­tor for the city of Galt, said, “We will first need to dust off our plans and look at this project to see what we can ac­com­plish with the $1.7 mil­lion.”

So­lis pointed out many youth games — foot­ball and soc­cer — are played dur­ing the week and week­ends each year. There are two bath­rooms, which was suit­able when Galt and Lib­erty Ranch soc­cer teams were play­ing home games in the win­ter. But when youth sport­ing

events tak­ing place, more bath­rooms are one of the city’s items on its list.

“Bath­rooms and park­ing are my num­ber one pri­or­i­ties,” So­lis said. “We cur­rently have two uni­sex bath­rooms for the whole com­plex. If there is one game dur­ing the week night like the high school games then it isn’t a prob­lem. The prob­lem on the week­end, when we have foot­ball games on one field, and two soc­cer games on the other two fields along with a pav­il­ion rentals for pri­vate par­ties. Lines for

the re­strooms be­come quite long and park­ing over­flows to the neigh­bor­hood.”

Galt High has ren­o­vated War­rior Sta­dium, which has all-turf and all-weather track. Lib­erty Ranch has Hawk Sta­dium that also has all-turf and all-weather track.

“Be­fore, we had the Jr. War­rior and Jr. Hawk pro­grams play­ing their games at Walker Park, but they have now sched­uled their games at the high schools for the up­com­ing year,” So­lis said.

The city has plans to ex­tend the road that runs in a north-south di­rec­tion of the park, So­lis said.

“This next phase will in­clude com­plet­ing

the road way, ad­di­tional park­ing, re­strooms and even­tu­ally base­ball/soft­ball fields,” So­lis said.

Skyler Won­na­cott, a spokesman for Aseem­bly­man Cooper, said that the money can only and specif­i­cally be used to ren­o­vate Walker Com­mu­nity Park.

“The money is not given to the city upfront,” Won­na­cott said in an email. “The City of Galt will be re­quired to sub­mit for re­im­burse­ment from the state for the work com­pleted to Walker Park.”

MIKE BUSH/NEWS-SEN­TINEL

Galt's Is­abella Mi­na­tre (7) and Tokay's Odyssi Gar­cia (5) bat­tle for the ball at Walker Park in Galt on Dec. 3, 2018.

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