The Santa Monica Airport2Park Foundation, a nonprofit group created to transform the Santa Monica Municipal Airport into green space, has revealed three alternatives for a 12-acre expansion of the existing Airport Park.
The project, which is being designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios, is being evaluated based on three criteria: performance, culture and ecology.
The first alternative, known as Runway, would add three new sports fields and a variety of other amenities to the park, including a natural habitat, a community lawn, a children's play area, a community garden and a new pedestrian entrance on Centinela Avenue.
Runway would retain the existing Douglas Loop, which would be tied into a new 250-space parking lot.
Landing Strips, the second option, would offer a similar array of amenities, but is designed in a way that makes the park one contiguous green space. To accomplish this, an existing access road would be eliminated and replaced with a new vehicle entrance on the western edge of the park.
The third option, Flight Path, would cut down on the possibility of pedestrian-vehicle conflicts by wrapping the parking lot access road around the perimeter of the park. However, this choice would also result in a substantial decrease in both the amount of overall green space and available parking.
Moving forward, the three alternatives will be presented to the Santa Monica's Parks, Recreation & Airport Commission later this month, and then to the Santa Monica City Council in September. After the Council's approval of the recommended alternative, the Airport Park expansion will move onto the schematic design phase.