Claremont’s First Dedicated Girls Athletic Facility, New Soccer Fields Proposed as Part of La Puerta Plan
Claremont, Calif. (December 3, 2020) — Trumark Homes, a southern California-based, family-run homebuilder, unveiled initial concepts Wednesday to create one of Claremont’s first dedicated girls athletic facilities along with expanded soccer fields for local AYSO and club soccer organizations as part of its plans for the closed La Puerta school site.
The new sports park plan is a direct result of feedback received from the community and teams over the past several months of outreach, including a public Youth Sports Committee meeting on December 2.
“I like this plan,” said Bobby Antillon, Chair of the Claremont Youth Sports Committee. “It provides the opportunity for young girls to finally have nice fields to play on and equitable sports opportunities for all of Claremont.”
Other Claremont sports leaders voiced enthusiasm for the plan during the public presentation Wednesday evening.
“This new proposal is beneficial to a lot of kids in the city,” said Jenny Ballesteros, president of Claremont Little League. “It lets the girls feel important and gives them an actual home to play.”
Best-in-Class Facilities for both Soccer and Girls Softball
For years, La Puerta Sports Park has been used by both soccer and girls fastpitch softball. Neither sport could achieve ideal field size due to the constrained, shared space. Only one softball field had an outfield fence. The fields could generally only be used by one sport at a time. And softball could only play during daylight hours.
This new plan helps solve these long-standing challenges and provides for best-in-class sports facilities for both girls and boys athletics. The proposed concept includes:
Create a dedicated girls fastpitch softball facility at Cahuilla Park with new and enhanced diamonds and modern equipment
Evolve La Puerta Sports Park to a dedicated soccer facility with competition-sized, U19-sized fields
Expand size of current main fields to approximately 390’ by 235’ – about a 20% increase
Increase size of initially proposed fields by approximately 50%
Allows for multiple fields and configurations
Create approximately 25,000 square feet of dedicated practice area
Improve field conditions, infrastructure (e.g. irrigation) and accessibility at both La Puerta and Cahuilla parks
Add new public parking at east side of La Puerta Sports Park
Funded by Trumark – not taxpayers or sports leagues
Updated plan resulted from direct dialogue with sports leagues
“This idea was driven by local sports leagues who are so committed to enhancing the lives of Claremont’s kids,” said Eric Nelson, Vice President of Community Development for Trumark. “As a result of their leadership, we were able to identify a solution that creates fairness and expands opportunities for both boys and girls sports teams.”
These early concepts are anticipated to be refined in concert with sports leagues in the coming months. Any final plans are subject to review and approval by the city as part of the overall project review. The new park plan will replace previously submitted sports park concepts that were part of the initial La Puerta application. Under the plan, all parks would remain public.
Made Possible by Low Density Planning
The park plan is made possible by Trumark’s proposal to create a new, low density community on the closed La Puerta campus. These 65 single-family detached homes would feature Claremont-inspired architecture and would be among the most sustainable in the city’s history, with a net-zero energy footprint, minimal water use and solar power for all homes. Nine of the 65 units would also include affordable Accessory Dwelling Units that would count towards the city’s affordable housing mandates.
More than $15 Million for Schools, Public Services
Beyond the sports park benefits, the La Puerta plan would provide more than $15 million for local education, public art, parks and recreation, public safety and other vital public services. Long-planned, but unfunded, campus improvements to Claremont High School and El Roble Middle School would be made possible by this funding.
The City will soon begin its environmental analysis of the project, which will be made available for public review. It is anticipated the project, including park plans, will be before the city council in 2021.