By San José City Councilmember, District 1
Editor’s note: This letter was sent to neighbors in the area of John Mise Park and in response to a . Constant also included a myth/fact document that is attached to this article.
As you may or may not be aware, the San José City Council on May 22nd approved a plan to renovate the sports field at John Mise Park. The plan has created some controversy amongst some of the neighbors of John Mise Park that has led to rumors and many misconceptions about the project. Given the misinformation that has made its way around the neighborhood, I felt that it is important for me to dispel some of these rumors, and clarify the scope and details of the plan.
The City has long planned for an upgraded sports field in District 1 and identified John Mise Park as being the best candidate for the upgrade. It is the second largest park in District 1, and currently has an existing lighted sports field. Additionally, it is located near an identified partner in Archbishop Mitty High School.
The projected cost of the project is $4,136,000, Mitty will contribute up to $375,000 with the remainder being funded by the City. The funding comes from special funds that can only be used toward park improvements. The renovation will include installation of an artificial turf field over the existing sports field at John Mise Park.
The existing field is a softball field with a youth-sized soccer field overlay. The new field will be an artificial turf softball field with an adult-sized soccer field overlay. A new parking lot with 30 new spaces will be added at the north end of the park with an entrance on John Mise Court. Lighting will be installed that will replace the current lights with newer, more efficient lights.
A fence that is 4 feet in height in most locations will be installed around the perimeter of the new artificial turf field. The fence will have regular breaks in it to allow for pedestrian access to the field, and there will be no gates or locks. The purpose of the fencing is to keep vehicles off the new turf and prevent errant balls from exiting the sports field.
As a part of the new renovation, the City Council approved a joint-use agreement with Archbishop Mitty High School. The City Council has aggressively pursued these types of agreements with outside entities in order to maximize its ability to provide services to its residents.
In the agreement, Mitty will contribute up to $375,000 toward the installation of the new turf and lighting. Mitty has also agreed to provide a majority of the ongoing maintenance of the park at a major cost savings to the City. Additionally, Mitty will contribute annually toward the future replacement of the artificial turf. In exchange, the City has agreed to give Mitty use of the sports field from 2:45 PM to 5:30 PM during the school year. Mitty will also receive an additional 20 hours per year that they can reserve the sports field. The City has also agreed to allow Mitty to utilize the new 30 parking spaces during the school year during school hours.
To provide some background, Mitty currently reserves the sports field during the school year during the times approved in the agreement and goes through the normal city sports field reservation process. The agreement is largely a formalization of Mitty’s current usage of the sports field.
During the times when the field is reserved, the other areas of the park are open to the public. This includes the playground, basketball courts, picnic areas, and other grassy areas outside the sports field. At times outside of those allocated to Mitty the sports field would be available for other groups or teams to reserve, this includes weekends and many hours on weekdays.
At times when the field is not reserved, the public would have free and open access to the sports field. This will be the first artificial turf field in San José open to the public at all times.
The park will very much remain a public park and residents will continue to have access to it. It will be a tremendous new asset for the community.