Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120

Bob Long Memorial Park Renovation

The Perris Theatre after the first rennovation.
Perris City Councilman Al Landers at the newly renovated Bob Long Memorial Park: "No better field of this type in the region."

The City of Perris has completed major renovations at Bob Long Memorial Park that include new fields, shading for fans, additional parking areas, improved bathrooms and a new concession building.

And because contractors need work in this tough economy, the renovations came more than $150,000 under budget.

Named after a long-time advocate of youth sports, work on Bob Long Memorial Park began in January. The park is located at San Jacinto Street and Wilson Avenue.

Construction crews demolished much of the existing park and built two new ball fields. The existing snack bar and restroom building was torn down and replaced with a modern restroom and concession building. Each ball field was equipped with three sets of bleachers with shade shelters to protect spectators from the sun.

The parking lot was renovated to provide additional parking on-site and the west side of Wilson Street was widened and paved to accommodate parking on-street. For many years the park has served as the home fields for the Perris Pony baseball league.

The Perris Theatre after the first rennovation.
Perris City Councilman Al Landers says the City is committed to providing quality parks and recreation services to its residents and visitors.

With the renovations complete, the new fields will be shared by Perris Pony League and Major League Softball, an adult softball league.

Engineers estimated the initial cost of construction was $2.044 million to complete the project, but the project was

completed below the estimate for $1.888 million.

"The City of Perris is committed to providing the highest quality parks and recreation services to its residents," said City Councilman Al Landers, a member of the Council's parks and recreation committee. "We have many wonderful and deserving youngsters and adults who need quality fields to play sports. In my opinion, there is no better field of this type in this region. I am proud to be part of a City team that is helping to improve the lives of our residents through athletics during this tough economic time."

Landers said the City of Perris continues building all sorts of new infrastructure even while renovating and expanding existing facilities like Bob Long Park. Construction is wrapping up on renovations to the Senior Center as well as work on a brand new Teen Center across the street from City Hall.

The Perris Theatre after the first rennovation.
Before image of the concessions building at Bob Long Memorial Park in Perris.

Work is progressing rapidly on the Interstate 215 interchange at Highway 74/Fourth Street. The City recently broke ground on a new fire station and, together with partners Eastern Municipal Water District, Riverside County and several state agencies, have begun work on installing new sewers in the disadvantaged Enchanted Heights communities on Perris' west side.

"We continue working to improve our infrastructure because we have been frugal for many years," Landers said. "From one end of Perris, we are building, expanding, renovating and upgrading. I am delighted to see all the work in progress."

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans said she took her children to Bob Long Park in the 1960s, when the place was little more than muddy fields near sugar beet farms.

"I am so happy for the kids who will get to enjoy it," Evans said. "It looks awesome."

City Councilman Mark Yarbrough thanked the staff for working with contractors on the project, which was first identified as a need about four years ago.

"It's expensive to build parks, and even more expensive to maintain them," he said. "To completely gut and rebuild one is

The Perris Theatre after the first rennovation.
After image of the concessions building at Bob Long Memorial Park in Perris.

very expensive. But it looks great. The City did a great job."

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said the renovated Bob Long Park is linked to nearby Sky Dive Park by a walkway, making it easier to host large tournaments. That could mean more teams from outside Perris coming to the City.

"It will bring more people to the park and more people to the community," Busch said.