Berkeley High Ultimate Frisbee team urges BUSD not to repurpose Moellering Field

Joshua Jordan /File

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Members of Berkeley High School’s Ultimate Frisbee team urged the Berkeley Unified School District board at its Wednesday meeting not to move forward with a proposal to place tennis courts on Moellering Field — a space the team uses for practices.

At its Sept. 27 meeting, the BUSD board discussed proposals for two different locations for the construction of tennis courts for Berkeley High: the open space at Moellering Field or the staff parking lot on Milvia Street. Players, parents and coaches from Berkeley High’s tennis teams voiced their support during the Sept. 27 meeting for the construction of the courts at either Moellering Field or in their original location on Milvia Street, after the high school had gone without courts for 16 years.

Members of Berkeley High’s Ultimate Frisbee team said at the meeting Wednesday that paving over Moellering Field in order to build tennis courts would take away space for their own team to practice. Players and parent volunteers added that they often had to pay to use fields for practices and were limited in the space available to them.

“Knowing that field space is limited and that it may become even more limited if Tim Moellering Field is paved over — it kind of hurts,” said Leo Gordon, a member of Berkeley High’s Ultimate Frisbee team, before the board. “It’s really important that this specific field is left to us. … It’s one of the few fields that Berkeley High is able to get.”

The proposal to renovate the staff parking lot and replace it with a two-story parking garage with five tennis courts on top is estimated to cost about $11.7 million, compared to the $5 million approved for the project in Measure I construction bond funds.

At the meeting, BUSD’s facilities staff presented an update on the reallocation plan for the Measure I bond funds, recommending that the project be deferred to a future bond because of the limited funds available.

Sydney Fix is the lead schools and communities reporter. Contact her at at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sydney_fix.