SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 27, 2017) — San Francisco University High School today celebrated the grand re-opening of Paul Goode Field, capping a $9 million revitalization project that in 21 months turned a long-underutilized playing field into the centerpiece of a state-of-the-art, multi-sport UHS Athletic Complex worthy of its treasured Presidio location.
The transformative undertaking by UHS was made possible through a 33-year lease agreement with the Presidio Trust, which includes an option for further extension. The long-term stability assured by the agreement enabled UHS officials to ambitiously reimagine the recreational possibilities of a field that was unusable during wet weather months and, at times in its history, an abandoned grassy lot.
Today’s inaugural celebration marks a new chapter for a field that has long been part of one of the Presidio’s oldest residential areas, with officials from the City and Presidio Trust joining the UHS community to showcase a first-class athletic complex for a multitude of sports and activities. For athletes, new facilities include a baseball field with dugouts, a bullpen, and a batting cage; a softball field with its own bullpen, batting cage, and dugouts; a 3-lane running track; a long jump pit; state-of-the-art playing fields for soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey; on-site storage for sports equipment; a separate adjacent practice field, and turf improvements that vastly expand availability for play and practice. For families, friends and fans who aren’t competing on the field, new amenities include stadium seating and bleachers, a picnic area, new restrooms, parking, and upgraded driveways and walking paths for improved access.
“I’m incredibly proud of the UHS trustees, administrators, families and friends who embraced an ambitious vision for what the University High School Athletic Complex at Paul Goode Field could be—and we are all grateful to the leadership donors and hundreds of supporters whose generosity made it possible,” said University High School’s Head of School Julia Russell Eells. “We saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to create top notch facilities in close proximity to UHS, offering students a high school athletic experience that’s free of travel burdens and that better fosters school spirit. No less important, we accomplished it in a way that affirms UHS’s core values of giving back to the community. UHS is providing full access to the athletic complex at no cost to numerous nonprofits and youth groups, serving thousands of families beyond UHS alone.”
The Presidio Trust is the independent federal agency created in 1998 to oversee the Presidio, a national park spanning nearly 1,500 acres and a former U.S. Army post. Mandated by Congress to fund its entire operation without taxpayer support, the Presidio Trust generates revenue by leasing historic buildings and facilities such as Paul Goode Field. Like many of the Presidio’s approximately 200 tenants that provide recreational and wellness options, University High School’s new athletic complex aims to maximize its benefits to the public. Set in a naturally lush area with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay, the athletic complex will provide improved access to this spectacular setting for the entire community.
“The Athletic Complex at Paul Goode Field is a project that exemplifies the Presidio Trust’s mission to create opportunities for health and recreation in the Park and to attract new and diverse audiences,” said Jean S. Fraser, CEO of the Presidio Trust. “I’m grateful to UHS for partnering with local nonprofits and schools, and expanding programming to serve more youth in more communities than ever before. We also applaud UHS for its commitment to sustainable practices and using environmentally sensitive materials in its development project. We are happy to celebrate this milestone together in our long and beneficial relationship with University High School.”
Supervisor Mark Farrell, whose district includes the new UHS complex at Paul Goode Field, was among the local officials in attendance at today’s event. As one of City Hall’s leading proponents for expanded access to recreational facilities for San Francisco youth, Farrell had high praise for UHS’s revitalization and the project’s significance as a needed public asset.
“In a City celebrated for so many of its world-class parks, plazas, and public attractions, today’s opening of the UHS Athletic Complex at Paul Goode Field adds yet another civic treasure,” said Farrell. “Facilities like this add much to our quality of life in San Francisco, but the truth is our city continues to have a critical shortage of usable fields for youth sports. That’s why I’m grateful to UHS for generously partnering with so many worthy community organizations to provide free access to these facilities. I congratulate the entire UHS community on the remarkable accomplishment this revitalized athletic complex represents, and I thank you for the benefits it will provide to Bay Area families for generations to come.”
The 21-month development project at Paul Goode Field was led by Bay Area-based firms Robert A. Bothman Construction and Verde Design, both of which recently partnered on the renovation of the Beach Chalet soccer fields in Golden Gate Park. By installing championship-quality, environmentally responsible artificial turf together with an organic infill system, athletic fields at the new UHS complex will reduce water usage by an estimated one million gallons annually. The improvement will also significantly expand available playing time on the fields, which previously required 4-5 month closures each year due to the deteriorated conditions during high rainfall seasons. Beyond the additional facilities, their year-round availability has enabled UHS to vastly expand no cost access to the community for youth sports programs and schools. UHS community partners that will benefit from access to the facilities include: Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, Jewish Community Center, Riptide Lacrosse, San Francisco Little League, S.F. Youth Soccer, Soccer Insight, Summerbridge, Viking Soccer/Microsoccer, YMCA, and San Francisco Youth Field Hockey.