The 2018 soccer season in the city will have a few more creature comforts when they play at Grange Park or the adjacent Optimist Soccer Fields.
City Council is expected to OK next month a near-$200,000 project that will construct a new shelter house and restroom facility at Grange Park, next to the soccer fields on Joe Nuxhall Way. It’s a joint project with the city picking up the majority of the tab and the Fairfield Optimist Soccer Club, the Fairfield Optimist Club and Fairfield SAY collectively pitching in $10,000.
“I think it will be a nice area to go hide and get out of the elements for some folks,” said Geoff Paton, FOSC’s facilities coordinator. And quoting his wife said, “We won’t have a port-a-potty, which will make a lot of people happy.”
The city prepared for the new shelter and restroom facility when the city demolished the old Grange building and installed a new force main sewer system. This past spring the city purchased the property at 84 Joe Nuxhall Way with the help of a Clean Ohio Grant to provide additional open space and remove a blighted structure. HB Construction Services offered the lowest bid of $190,000 out of the five received. The city is also allocating a 5 percent contingency fee for potential project cost overruns.
Paton, who also helps organize the annual MASC soccer tournament on Joe Nuxhall Way, said it will be “a great, great, great addition for the tournament.”
Ron Jackups, a member of the board of directors for the Fairfield Optimist Club, said the discussion on the restroom facility has been going on for about five years. He said the organization, along with the soccer clubs, are always looking for ways to “continue to improve and polish up” the MASC tournament and the fields. The restrooms will also be ADA compliant, which means those with handicaps won’t have to use the port-a-potties.
“We’ve been conducting this tournament for over 30 years now and it’s grown leaps and bounds, and the one criticism we’ve heard year in and out is that east half of the fields having to use port-a-potties for some time now,” Jackups said.
Fairfield Parks Facilities and Operations Manager Bob Schappacher said the big thing for the city was to have these organizations, as well as those who use the parks, access to public restrooms. He said the project, which is anticipated to be approved by City Council at its Dec. 4 meeting, will take about four months to complete, weather permitting. The hope is to have it wrap up by mid-spring, he said.