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Lathrop seeks grant for $6 million sports complex near LHS
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 Could a new state-of-the-art sports complex be the next recreational offering that Lathrop provides to its residents?
That all depends on whether the State of California likes the $3 million grant proposal that will be submitted by the city now that the Lathrop City Council has signed off on making the park the city’s newest attraction.
Proposed for the land adjacent to Lathrop High School, the 16.79 acre site would formally give Lathrop’s parks and recreation programs a permanent home. it would do so with one of the most high-tech facilities in San Joaquin County – three of the fields that are being included in the proposal are slated to be constructed from a synthetic playing surface to cut down on long-term maintenance costs and the need to water in order to adhere to the city’s long-term fiscal goals and conservational efforts.
According to the proposal that is being submitted to the State of California’s Park and Recreation Department – the agency that provided a $5 million grant that allowed for the construction of the Lathrop Generations Center and the adjacent skate park to provide both a teen center and a new library facility for the city – the park is being pitched as way to provide park access to residents and neighborhoods that don’t have easy access to the basic amenity.
A report prepared by the city and included with the grant proposal shows that 62 percent of the city’s residents live at least one half-mile from the nearest park. In addition to providing more open space for residents, the site would also serve as a social hub and assist in creating a sense of “community pride” while at the same time giving the requisite land for those pursuing healthy lifestyles and participating in youth sports activities.
The lopsided loss last year suffered by the Lathrop High School freshman and sophomore football teams played a part is discovering the need for a city complex that caters to sports, according to the city’s submission. After both squads lost to Franklin High School of Elk Grove by a combined score of 102-0, a discussion with the school’s athletic director revealed that because of a lack of programs offered in the city, high school is the first chance that many students get to participate in team sports and are often woefully behind more established programs in cities that have community athletic programs readily available. That fact is being submitted as one of the examples that position the community sports complex as a high-priority for the community.
And if development occurs the way that it is expected to, the facility could be the heart of some of the concentrated housing inside of Lathrop’s city limits.
While initial plans to develop the land around what became Lathrop High School failed under the previous developer, the majority of the land tracts set to be converted to housing have since been acquired by a separate company currently moving forward with building homes down the street from the high school. Last week the council also voted to approve changing the name of what was the second spur of Lathrop Road – beyond the end of the Spartan Way segment that the council approved almost five years ago – to clear up any confusion. Those homes would be the first inside of the new Central Lathrop Specific Plan, where the park would be located if funding is secured, are built.
The total cost of the project is believed to be around $6 million, with Lathrop agreeing to match the state’s funds in order to bring the vision to fruition. The city’s share of those costs would be paid for from a combination of developer’s fees and Capital Facility Fees.
No timetable for when construction would begin was included with the submitted documents.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.