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Lathrop seeks $5M grant to develop new sports park

It was a $5 million grant from the State of California’s Department of Parks and Recreation that allowed the City of Lathrop to build the Lathrop Generations Center and Skate Park 

And now, the city is hoping that another $5 million grant will provide the funding necessary for a 16.79-acre sports park next to Lathrop High School that will aim to provide sports and recreational opportunities for the growing community and provide a permanent home for many of the city’s sports programs. 

Last week the Lathrop City Council authorized the application for the grant that would fund the construction of the state-of-the-art complex – which, as currently designed, will include three 240’ x 360’ lighted all-weather multipurpose athletic fields and one large natural turf multipurpose activity field, a natural grass multi-purpose basin, an outdoor performance stage, a restroom and concession stand building with a meeting room, an inclusive recreational tot lot, a perimeter walking trail, and a parking lot to accommodate the uses of the facility. When combined with the Lathrop Generations Center – which has for the last several years been home to the City of Lathrop’s annual birthday celebration and fireworks, the Spartan Way complexes would provide much-needed flexibility for community recreational programs as the city grows by leaps and bounds. 

And it’s a project that they’ve had in their sights for some time. 

Last October, when the grant funding was first announced by the State of California, the city expressed its interest in applying for the funding – including a report that presented to the city council that outlined where the idea for the large complex came from. It was a lopsided loss suffered by the Lathrop High School freshman and sophomore football teams in 2017 that 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 and construction on the first homes in the redesigned Central Lathrop Specific Plan are already under construction. 

The total cost of the project is believed to be around $8 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. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.