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Parks Recreation & Waterfront Department
Parks Recreation & Waterfront Department

Welcome to the Project Information Page

for the 

Synthetic Turf Replacement Project

at Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex (aka Gilman Fields) 

Latest Update: February 23, 2018

 Gilman Fields Grand Opening Flyer


Standard Winter Closure:  The grass sports fields at the Tom Bates Regional Sports Fields complex will be closed for standard annual rehabilitation during the winter season from November 27, 2017 through Sunday, March 4, 2018. 

Special Winter Closure:  In addition, the two synthetic turf fields (north and south) at the Tom Bates Regional Sports Fields complex will be closed from Monday, November 27, 2017 through Sunday, March 4, 2018 to allow for the replacement of the synthetic turf.  This project will involve the replacement of the worn out existing synthetic turf system with a new system that consists of a dual fiber synthetic turf carpet, cork-and-sand infills, and an underlying shock absorbing pad.

The synthetic turf fields are scheduled to re-open on Monday, March 5, 2018. However, this date is subject to change due to potential unforeseen delays such as rainy weather, and unforeseen site conditions. 

As a result, portions of reservations for field use in March 2018 may need to be cancelled and refunded. The affected reservation holders will be notified of any potential cancellation by the end of January, 2018. 

For questions regarding field reservations, please contact Daniel Robles, Assistant Recreation Coordinator at  drobles@cityofberkeley.info, or (510) 981-6656. 

For questions regarding the Synthetic Turf Replacement project, please contact Nelson Lam, Associate Civil Engineer at  NeLam@CityofBerkeley.info, or (510)981-6395. 


On July 25, 2017, the Berkeley City Council approved the contract with FieldTurf USA, Inc. for the replacement work using the California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS) purchasing system.  



At the Joint Powers Agreement meeting on May 24, 2017, the City of Berkeley project team presented the City’s recommendation for the new turf system that would consist of a dual fiber carpet with cork-and-sand infill and an underlying shock absorbing pad. The JPA Cities unanimously supported this recommendation and agreed to seek funding from their respective City Councils to support the additional costs of the new turf system; as described detail in the JPA Memorandum, dated May 15, 2017.  Based on this approval, the City of Berkeley project team began work to implement the turf replacement project.    


The City of Berkeley evaluated several replacement option concepts that were discussed during the six month community process. This evaluation considered impact safety (G-Max Rating), human health & environmental risks, liability, durability and playability, and community feedback.  

The decision making process and City of Berkeley recommendation are documented in a memorandum from the Berkeley City Manager to the City Managers and Councilmember Representatives of the Five Member JPA Cities (Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, and Richmond), dated May 15, 2017. See attachments below. 



2nd Community Meeting - Tom Bates

The final community meeting on the turf replacement project was conducted on March 25, 2017.

The project team described the project decision making process, presented the selection criteria including impact safety (g-max), human risk assessment, durability, playability, costs, and design options consideration.  The project team also introduced the replacement option concepts at the meeting. These concepts were presented at the JPA Meeting on March 16, 2017 to provide the JPA Cities a preliminary look at the possible options. The replacement option concepts include:    

  1. Replacement In-Kind. Monofilament Turf, Crumb Rubber Infill, and no Shock Pad  
  2. In-Kind with Upgraded Carpet. Dual Blend (Monofilament and Silt Film) Turf, Crumb Rubber Infill, and no Shock Pad  
  3. Coated Crumb with Upgraded Carpet. Dual Blend Turf, Coated Crumb Rubber Infill, and no Shock Pad  
  4. Optimized. Dual Blend Turf, Cork Infill, and Shock Pad.  

The City of Berkeley project team is in the process of consolidating the public comments received, community feedback generated from these two community meetings, and the technical information developed by our consultants.  City of Berkeley will inform the JPA Cities of this consolidated data, and facilitate the decision making process for the JPA Cities to select the optimal option at the next JPA Meeting on Wednesday, May 24th, 2017.  

Artificial Replacement Project Agenda   
Updated Slide Show Presentation 
Meeting Notice 
G-max report     

On January 28, 2017, an informational community meeting was conducted to present to the public some of the commonly used infill materials. The City presented project goals, described the constraints that the project will need to overcome, gathered the attendees’ feedback, and identified the priorities that the attendees are most concerned with. 

The goal of the project is to replace the existing worn out artificial turf at the north and south soccer fields, mitigate subsurface drainage problems while meeting the key project constraints, addressing community concerns/priorities, and providing reasonable accommodation to the facility users yet delivering the project on time and on budget. 

The key project constraints include: safety of users, protection of the environment, durability, long term maintenance, initial and long term costs, and playability. 

Approximately eighteen member of the public attended this meeting. Their feedback were gathered by the project team, and the following community priorities were identified.  

  • A healthier, safer infill alternative to crumb rubber 
  • Assessment of life cycle costs 
  • Consider phased field development 
  • Cost is less of a priority than safety 

Community Meeting Agenda

Updated Presentation Slide Show
Meeting Notification

For more information, contact Nelson Lam, Project Manager: NeLam@cityofberkeley.info or (510) 981-6395.  

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