The project site is located on the north side of the Fresno City College campus (addressed at 1101 E. University Avenue, Fresno, CA 93741), south of Yale Avenue, east of College Avenue and west of the BNSF railroad tracks. The project encompasses approximately 2.0 acres within the campus in an area currently occupied by the college’s existing softball field and a portion of the grass-turfed area located immediately west of the softball field. The area surrounding the project site consists of other existing Fresno City College athletic facilities (gymnasium, swimming pools, tennis courts), single-family and multifamily residential development, green space, and railroad tracks. The project does not entail an expansion of the existing campus boundaries.
The project would make substantial improvements to Fresno City College’s existing softball facilities for the purposes of addressing the long-standing facility inequities that exist in the women’s softball field and increasing the overall quality and student experience of those enrolled in courses at the facility and women’s softball program. The proposed improvements include new bleacher seating (200-person seating capacity), an announcer’s booth, in-ground dugout enclosures, a batting cage area, two pitching warm-up areas, backstop fencing (minimum 30-foot-tall netting style system), windscreens (replacing existing windscreens on chain-link fencing), and field lighting. The project would utilize the existing softball field’s outfield fencing, foul poles, and scoreboard. Field lighting would consist of light fixtures mounted on six 60-foot-tall poles. The lighting fixtures would utilize state-of-the-art LED lighting designed and oriented to light the field and project areas adjacent to the field that need to be lighted with little or no spillover on non-project areas. The project also includes construction of a team building (measuring 1,756 square feet and containing a team room, coach’s office, restrooms, snack bar, and storage areas), three ADA parking stalls, and concrete sidewalk areas. The three ADA parking stalls would be accessed via an existing on-campus access road and existing driveways on the east side of College Avenue near Cambridge Avenue.
The project would operate year-round, with most activity occurring during the January-May collegiate softball season. The project is expected to host up to 20 games plus team practices during the softball season. The project may also be utilized for hosting occasional collegiate softball tournaments. Games and practices would be held on weekdays and weekends and would be scheduled for both daytime and evening hours. Operational hours would range from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The project would not increase the total number of games or overall number of tournaments that occur per year under existing conditions. Further, the project’s use would be limited to the FCC softball program; other unaffiliated uses are not entailed as part of the project. If approved, the project is anticipated to begin construction in late 2022 and be completed by fall/winter 2023, with the project beginning operation during the 2023-24 academic year.