FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2023
Greater Vallejo Recreation District
GVRD Awarded Over $7 Million State Grant for Improvements to the Former Franklin Middle School
VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA – The previous Franklin Middle School will soon be seeing a major upgrade, thanks to a $7,542,687 California State Parks grant funded by Prop 68.
In 2018, California voters passed Prop 68, which directed $254.9 million to State Parks for competitive grants to create new parks and enhance recreational opportunities for all Californians. This is the state’s largest investment in grant funding history targeted for underserved communities and the Greater Vallejo Recreation District is excited to announce major improvements planned due to this generous funding opportunity.
The grant --part of the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program--is designed to provide funding for “underserved communities” according to the California Parks and Recreation website. This round was highly competitive, with 468 project applications requesting $2.42 billion.
After holding several public workshops in late 2020 and early 2021 asking community members what they wanted to see for the park, the district came up with a design concept. Planned improvements include constructing a turf field and a multi-use open space/natural turf field, the addition a playground, new pathways throughout the park, new pickleball courts, new basketball courts, concession/picnic area plaza, the addition of a parking lot, lighting, security, and fencing.
The Vallejo City Unified School District closed Franklin Middle School in 2020 due to declining enrollment, and in June of this year, GVRD signed a 30-year lease agreement for the gymnasium and fields.
Gabe Lanusse, GVRD General Manager said “Our goal is to create a community park-like space with athletic fields that will be open both to the public and for PAL and our district’s recreation programs. We are extremely excited to be awarded this grant funding. It pays to dream big!”
GVRD is a separate government agency from the City of Vallejo that provides parks and recreation programs for children, families, and seniors in Vallejo. GVRD operates primarily by means of locally controlled funding and receives revenue from fees for services, park entrances, programs, and facility rentals. Grants and park dedication permit fees assist in the provision for new park development projects and ongoing maintenance.