Hundreds of people gathered Saturday morning to witness the official ribbon cutting of the long-awaited 45-acre Vista Hermosa Sports Park off Avenida Vista Hermosa.
Today's festivities also featured the opening of Courtney’s SandCastle, a universal playground where children of all abilities can play together.
“I’m really proud to be here to unveil a showcase in not just San Clemente, but in Orange County,” said San Clemente Mayor Jim Evert. “We have to think about why we have this park ... it’s for the youth of our community. They are the future.”
Donations for the park came to $219,925. The $33-million project, slated to open in January, was pushed back for completion of the Olympic-sized pool, local officials told the Orange County Register.
“San Clemente citizens value recreation,” said Steven Streger, chairman of Beaches, Parks and Recreation. “They make it a priority that is passed down from generation to generation.”
The park features a 50-meter competition pool as well as a recreational pool, three youth baseball fields, two full-sized soccer fields, two youth soccer fields and a football hub.
“This is a magnificent project and I’m very proud to be here today,” said city landscape architect Tim Shaw. “I’m just one person in a long line of people. I’m a torch-bearer and today I get to pass that torch on to recreation.”
The San Clemente High School varsity cheer squad was on hand this morning to give a cheer for the ribbon ceremony. The high school’s jazz band ensemble as well as the San Clemente madrigals choral group also performed for the group. After the ribbon was cut, people headed into the aquatic center to enjoy an afternoon of recreation.
“This is one of those cases where many members of the community have their fingerprints on the project,” said Councilwoman Lori Donchak. “It’s pure oxygen.”
The park’s hours are Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.