The city of Tracy is looking to fine-tune its plans to renovate El Pescadero Park, and took a step in that direction with a public workshop at North School, next door to the park, on Monday.

The Tracy City Council determined in July that the park will be the site of a long-planned multi-generational recreation center. The city had originally considered Ceciliani Park at Lauriana Lane and Cypress Drive as the site of the recreation center but ran into neighborhood opposition.

A May workshop at North School showed that neighbors of El Pescadero Park -- a 60-year-old, 14.62-acre park at the north end of Parker Avenue between Grant Line Road and Kavanagh Avenue -- were more receptive. For the past few years that park has been the site of a large homeless encampment.

“The last time we were here there were probably over 150 who clearly said this was a priority for your neighborhood. Because of that we were able to go back to our city council and approve this site as the future home for our recreation center,” city Parks and Recreation Director Brian MacDonald told people at Monday’s meeting.

“This is a well-established neighborhood, but the investments we’ve made over the past 30 years have all been south Tracy, or west Tracy.”

The city’s plan now is to not just for the recreation center, which would also be the home of the city’s Parks and Community Services offices, but for complete renovation of the park.

“Nothing here has been designed yet. That’s why we’re here. We want your input so that we can go through and design it the way that you want it,” said Andrew Wickham, a landscape architect with LPA Inc.

He described a new parking lot at the main entrance at Grant Line by Tracy Interfaith Ministries, a foot and bike path leading from Grant Line Road to Kavanagh Avenue, a new skate park next to North School, and a new dog park just north of Tracy Interfaith Ministries. A playground and splash pad would also be at the north end of the park next to Kavanagh Avenue, and the city is also planning a full outdoor baskeball court.

The recreation center would be on the east side of the park, just north of the Stone Pine Meadow apartments and next to North School.

Monday’s workshop was a chance for about three-dozen attendees to express their priorities for park amenities, using stickers on photos and maps to mark their preferences for the skate park, dog park and splash pad. The largest contingent was about a dozen young people interested in the skate park.

Kanten Russell, project manager with Newline Skateparks, which is working with LPA, said he’s looking for input before coming up with a final design, though he did show some preliminary concepts for folks to evaluate.

“As you can see here it’s nice and integrated into the landscaping. We totally intend for this to work with the rest of the park. We can match similar themes, we can match similar colors, but we definitely want to hear from you tonight what those might look like. What’s going to make this feel special and stand out for Tracy,” he said.

Attendees offered their input by selecting some of Newline’s preliminary concepts, and stressed the need for lights so that the park can stay active in late afternoon and evenings during the wintertime.

John Courtney, managing director of sports and recreation for LPA, said that after the present design and development phase he expects to have construction documents for the park and recreation center ready for city review by February, and it will take until about September to finish those plans. By this time next year he expects the city will be able to put the entire project out to bid, with a target date of March 2025 for the grand opening.

• Contact Bob Brownne at, or call 209-830-4227.

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