Construction continues during summer recess
Though the Claremont City Council Chamber remains dark this month as the city continues its summer recess, work continues for city staffers preparing for the fast approach of fall.
Construction and other maintenance projects have carried on despite the August heat wave. A particular focus of these projects is the city’s parks and recreational facilities, especially those used for fall sports. The summer break is the perfect time to renovate fields and facilities before kids return for fall sports.
“It gives [the fields and courts] a good 10 weeks rest,” said Maintenance Supervisor Mike McCabe. “It’s like a day spa for the parks.”
Construction began on the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park parking lot earlier this week as work concluded at Cahuilla Park. With fall sports at the high school already underway, the new and returning crop of CHS tennis players will be treated to shiny new tennis courts at Cahuilla. The park’s 8 courts were resurfaced as part of a revolving maintenance project that includes pressure washing, patching cracks and holes, applying acrylic paint and striping.
“Just like our basketball courts, when they get worn down after a while it becomes a slip hazard,” Mr. McCabe said of the courts, which are also open for public use. “Plus it keeps them looking nice and new.”
The grass is also receiving special treatment this summer. Turf renovation is taking place at 5 Claremont sports parks: Griffith, La Puerta, Larkin, Padua and June Vail. Though seemingly contradictory given the blazing heat, summer time is the best time to reseed, according to Mr. McCabe.
“It gives the turf time to rejuvenate because of all the wear and tear from the sport’s groups,” he said, but also adding, “you want to do it when the turf is active. This is the prime time.”
El Barrio Park will also get a mini makeover with the addition of new gooseneck basketball poles and backboards, replacing a backboard recently found broken. Mr. McCabe also noted that the poles “were really old and in need of replacement.”
Construction lends accessibility to city streets
Parks aren’t the only city facilities involved in construction and renovation projects. After months of gutter and road construction on Indian Hill Boulevard and Mountain Avenue, street renovations are moving toward completion in the next couple weeks, according to City Manager Tony Ramos.
The city’s thoroughfares have been host to numerous construction projects over the past year aiming to keep the boulevard up-to-date with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Projects have included removing and replacing old ramps and portions of sidewalk for upgrades. The street itself also received deep patch repair, crack fill, street grinding and a new asphalt overlay.
Ramp upgrades are now officially complete on both Indian Hill and Mountain, according to Mr. Ramos. The contractor, Gentry Brothers, continues work on irrigation and landscaping restoration. These smaller projects are expected to be complete within the next 2 weeks.
In other building news, a new Chase Bank has also popped up on the corner of Indian Hill and Mountain during the summer months. Crews are completing finishing touches on the bank with an attached drive-through, according to landowner Jim Harris. The bank received final approval last fall after an appeal to deny the project by Tony Husson, co-owner of the 21 Choices located within the same shopping center. Among Mr. Husson’s concerns was his concern that his business, located behind the Chase Bank would be blocked from view. However, many welcomed the addition of the bank and Mr. Harris’s offered to purchase a sign promoting all of the businesses in the center to passersby.
Despite the tedious process to gain final approval, the project moved forward with full force. Construction is near complete and a grand opening celebration is set for September.