By Ken Martin

IL SOGNO REALIZATE (QUASI): If you’ve been down on San Miguel Avenue lately you may have noticed a big construction project in progress at Adobe Art Center Park across the street from the firehouse. The Hayward Area Recreation District, in cooperation with the Castro Valley Unified School District, is doing a complete rework of this facility. The end result will include a skateboard area, the new YMCA building, picnic areas, a playground, and two bocce courts. The last item has been my particular area of interest for the past few years.

About three years ago, when I heard that H.A.R.D. was going to do some major work in Community Center Park, I approached then-General Manager Eric Wilyerd with the suggestion that, since they were doing a lot of work on the park anyway, why couldn’t they install some bocce courts? To my surprise, he was very receptive to the idea. Time passed and the decision was made to put the courts in Adobe Art Center Park, which was due for a complete redesign and rebuild, rather than Community Center Park. So finally the work is under way. The projected final completion date is in December.

When I initiated this quest, I asked for anyone that was interested in bocce to contact me. The response was very good and I still have the list but I am sure that it has changed in the interim. Consequently, I am going to start all over again and make the same request with this provision: Please give me you name and your e-mail address. If you don’t have e-mail,  you can leave your phone number but an e-mail address will be much better for future communication. Here’s my contact information: E-mail: Phone: (510) 727-9296. If you phone, please speak slowly and clearly so I can be certain to the information correctly.

Since these will be public courts I am assuming that the rules of use and priority will be similar to those of our public tennis courts. Just how things will be organized with regard to open play or possibly league play is unknown at this time. The reason that I am asking interested players to contact me is to allow me to keep those people advised on developments when they happen.

A little info about the courts themselves: The original plans called for trees lining both sides of the courts. I requested that the trees be eliminated to keep the courts free of leaves. H.A.R.D. honored my request and removed the trees. In their place there will be two shade shelters. Also, the initial plans called for the courts to have an artificial turf surface, selected because it would be low maintenance. As it turned out, the expense of installing this surface was very high so the decision was made to go with less expensive, but higher maintenance and more traditional, sand and crushed oyster shell. This means that the players using the courts will have to take some responsibility for maintaining them. This will not be a big task but will be necessary to continue to have decent courts on which to play.

At any rate, we are finally getting bocce courts in Castro Valley. With bocce currently being the fastest growing participant sport in the world (behind only soccer) I am sure they will be in some demand. I’ll see you there frequently!!