Officials are halfway through the long-awaited renovation of Pelona Vista Park in Palmdale. The project, taking place at 37800 Tierra Subida Ave., includes turf removal, re-grading, adding moisture retention soil amendments, irrigation replacement (with water-saving technology), and a new grass blend appropriate for the Antelope Valley climate and various play activity.

There will also be general facility upgrades including refurbishment of the stairwells, improvements to the walking trails, installation of split-rail fencing (designed to improve the cross country trail) and improvement to the irrigation system.

“We’re very pleased with progress so far,” said Palmdale Communications Manager John Mylnar. “We’re all looking forward to having fresh new playing surfaces in a few months (because) Pelona Vista is one of our most highly used facilities in the city.”

The project has actually resulted in a cut-back in water use, said Mylnar. He said the contractor has been able to reduce the amount of water used on the grounds by as much as 26.2 percent in June and another 38.8 percent in July.

“We’re focusing more on the new turf, and we’ve cut back on watering in other areas of the park,” Mylnar said.

Rich Meier’s Landscaping is the contractor. The firm was awarded the contract at the April 1 Palmdale City Council meeting and is charging $400,000 for the entire project. The money is being funded through the Excess Fund-Cities Grant Program by the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District.

Pelona Vista Park spans about 73 acres, 30 of which are fully developed and serve as the city’s primary soccer facility. There are two restroom facilities, nine lighted soccer fields, a maintenance facility, a one-mile walking path and more than 550 parking spaces which are also made available to commuters.