Answers to frequently asked questions about revitalizing Stanley playfield


Stanley ballfields

Metro Parks Tacoma and Tacoma Public Schools are partnering to revitalize Stanley Playfield. Metro Parks has an interactive webpage for this project where you can follow other’s comments and add your own:

Why was this project proposed?

  • MPT and TPS have worked together for many years to coordinate programming and capital projects to ensure that the community has responsive, high quality coordinated programs and facilities for families throughout Tacoma.
  • The 2020 TPS bond called for field improvements throughout the City to provide high-quality fields to serve both school and community use. Potential partnerships were identified for both Lincoln HS and Stadium HS (site TBD.)
  • TPS places a high value in providing the same high quality field standards for all TPS students, regardless of where they live in Tacoma.
  • MPT’s 2014 bond recognized the need to improve athletic fields throughout the City, and also provide improvements at neighborhood and community parks.
  • MPT and TPS work closely together to leverage public dollars for the benefit of community.
  • MPT and TPS collaboratively schedule use to meet both school and community need.

What other sites were considered for the athletic fields proposed at the Stanley Campus?

  • MPT and TPS explored the use of Heidelberg and Peck, before arriving at the Stanley Campus as a potential site for girl’s softball and boy’s baseball improvements. At the time, the Heidelberg site was under study as a Soccer Complex, which has since been deemed infeasible.
  • Peck fields were too small to contain both fields. Although it could accommodate softball, the property is too small for baseball and significant improvements would also be required to upgrade the site, while leaving baseball and soccer needs unmet.
  • The Stanley Playfield site was the third field in close proximity to Stadium HS under review that could accommodate both fields. Additionally, it is on a shared campus with the Boys & Girls Club and at an elementary school where Beyond the Bell sports can also benefit from access to all-season fields.

Who is paying for this project?

  • TPS has budgeted approximately $6m towards the fields, infrastructure (parking), playground relocation and basketball courts/ soccer + mini football overlays.
  • MPT has budgeted $330k in our 2023-2024 CIP for improvements to Stanley Park.

What is the project schedule?

  • The project was envisioned to occur in phases. The first phase was to relocate the playground (currently on MPT property) and construct the athletic fields. School playground planning is currently underway and work is anticipated to occur this summer and be completed by Fall 2023.
  • The next phase would be to construct the public park elements that were not included in the initial phase.

TPS has already applied for permits. Have all of the decisions been made?

  • No. While MPT and TPS envisioned a more coordinated public outreach effort, we did not align the timing well at all. TPS is interested in delivering fields ASAP; however, we want to ensure that the proposed improvements are aligned with community needs and expectations.
  • TPS consulted the City of Tacoma Planning department for advice with permit requirements and they submitted for initial permit review on February 3, 2023. The City has determined that the expanded use provided by the updated fields merits additional public notice and outreach, as the park’s Conditional Use Permit will need to be updated for the proposed project. In order to gain additional public input, the COT Planning Dept. has scheduled a meeting on March 30 to discuss the project and determine what additional information will be required to inform permit review.
  • Both entities are committed to listening to community about their needs for the entire campus before moving forward with any development.

How much access to the fields will the community have?

  • The Stanley Elementary and Playfield campus is anticipated to operate like other shared MPT & TPS facilities with the school based play areas closed to general access during the school day and opened for community uses when school is not in session.
  • During school hours, areas of the playfield would be gated for students to engage in supervised play and P.E. when these areas would be closed to general access.
  • When not in use by Stanley students, the intention is for the fields and school-based playground to be used both to support youth sports and for general community usage during park operating hours: half-hour before sunrise to half-hour after sunset daily.

Will the playground be replaced?

  • Yes. TPS plans to replace and relocate the existing school-based playground to provide a greater line of sight for supervision during recess playtime. This play area will still be open to the public outside of school hours.
  • There is an opportunity to coordinate the school-based playground location with additional playground facilities in the area for community park use.
  • MPT greatly appreciates feedback about expanded playground needs and how we can provide a high-quality playground experience for both Stanley students and the Hilltop community. MPT will be discussing the community’s interest in possible supplemental play features elsewhere on the campus to be accessible to the public during school hours.

Are there any opportunities for other park uses?

  • Absolutely! MPT wants to hear from the community about what they’d like to see in the park. So far, we’ve heard about the need for better playground space, multi-field sports use (football, basketball), walking/running paths, and open play area with trees. We’re looking forward to brainstorming about these needs.

How can I stay up to date?

Are there more meetings planned and key dates I should be aware of?

  • Wednesday, March 29 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at People's Center Gym - We’ll begin our conversation over dinner (served from 5:30-6 p.m.) then continue our work together on the Stanley Elementary & Playfield Campus revitalization plan.
  • Thursday, March 30 at 5:30 pm in Tacoma City Council Chambers - City of Tacoma meeting to gain public feedback to inform the Conditional Use Determination
  • Thursday, April 6 at 5 pm - City of Tacoma Public Comment Period closes regarding the permit request for an update to the park’s Conditional Use Permit.

What updates are happening?

  • Phase 1: Metro Parks works with the community to design updates for appx 1 acre of park that is accessible for general park use during all open hours. TPS begins construction of new ballfields.
  • Phase 2: TPS constructs new playground, on school property. 
  • Phase 3: Metro Parks will construct the remaining park updates in the yellow highlighted area.

What is MPT’s timeline for the 1-acre general park?

  • A survey and ideas will be posted on Social Pinpoint on March 6 and we’ll meet with you again in spring to discuss a proposed design reflecting input received during the month ahead. Construction of this area will begin after TPS has completed its construction projects. Opening is currently anticipated by fall 2024. 

What’s the general schedule for ballfield construction?

  • Clearing & Grading begin this summer. Construction will run summer through winter 2023. Fields are anticipated to open spring 2024 

What sports can be accommodated on the new fields?

  • The new multi-use fields provide year-round opportunities for baseball, softball, soccer, and lacrosse, supporting Central Tacoma’s youth through Stadium HS and Heritage MS games and practice use, along with recreational sports play. 

Who will oversee scheduled use of the fields?

  • Metro Parks Tacoma’s Recreation staff.

Will the fields be grass or synthetic turf?

  • The ballfields and play field areas will be synthetic turf to provide year-round use.

What will happen to the play equipment during construction?

  • The existing pre-k and K-5 play equipment will be removed during construction and replaced with a new play equipment for students and community-use.  

Will the covered play area be removed?

  • No. The covered play area will remain in place.

What will the new play equipment look like?

  • The design for the new play area will include:
    • New synthetic play field
    • Basketball court
    • New play equipment will include an outdoor fitness obstacle course, safety surfacing, slides, shaded area, swings and climbing structures.

Will there be any access to the field and playground during construction?

  • There will be no public access to the area during construction. Stanley student’s will have access to their playground during ballfield construction.

What is the plan for trees in the construction area?

  • In order to provide the new amenities, 12 trees will be removed from the site. The design includes planting 38 new, strategically located trees to enhance user experiences and expand the park’s tree canopy. 

Could street trees be damaged by tall trucks?

  • It’s possible but unlikely the trees on 17th St. do not hang out into the road very far and the road is wide enough most of the time of the trucks to avoid them.

What’s the parking plan once the fields are complete?

  • There will be a new parking lot behind the Boys & Girls Club specifically for the new fields. 

What are the street improvements, and when will they occur?

  • The scope is still being determined with the city, but it will include new, wider sidewalks along 19th St. with updated ADA ramps, as well as street signal upgrades.

What are the work hours on the site?

  • 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday 

How will trucks access the site?  

  • Most trucks will come from Sprague and 17th streets through the school’s parking lot, some trucks my come directly of 19th street.

Where will work crews park during construction? 

  • This project will primarily take place during summer break during that time we plan to utilize the schools parking lot. When school is in session, we will utilize street parking on 17th and possibly Wilkerson streets.

How will the construction affect residential parking and driving?

  • Should have little impact as 17th St. is currently a wide street with plenty of room for parking on each side while still maintaining two lanes of travel.

Will there be any vibrating equipment used which may be felt by the adjacent property owners? 

  • Yes, during the early stages of the project, activities might be heard intermittently from several blocks away, but minimally.

Will my utility services be affected?

  • If an interruption shall be needed, neighbors will be notified by a letter posted on their front door or gate one week prior to any interruption of service.

What does security of the site/school look like during construction?

  • The construction site will be fenced. 

What is considered for restoration for those walkway areas adjacent to residential properties?    

  • We are not aware of any walkways currently adjacent to residential properties that will be impacted by construction.

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