Noted Baldwin Hills sports complex to be revitalized

SPF architects will redesign Rancho Cienega, known for helping develop pro athletes like tennis' Williams sisters

Rancho Cienega Sports Complex with Serena and Venus Williams (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Rancho Cienega Sports Complex with Serena and Venus Williams (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

UPDATED August 1, 3:07 p.m.:

A Baldwin Hills sports facility with a history of helping develop future professional athletes like tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams is set to get a major overhaul.

Construction work is expected to begin in September on the redevelopment of the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex at 5001 Rodeo Road. Urbanize reported the news, after SPF architects, the firm doing the design work, announced it on its web site.

The project entails the design and construction of a newer sports facility to replace the aging structures at the 24-acre park, according to the city’s Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners.

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It will be built in two phases. The city, which budgeted $33 million for phase one, awarded the project to Pinner Construction Co. out of Anaheim, who bid $40.6 million, a city official told The Real Deal.

Aside from SPF, the project team includes engineer BuroHappold and Hood Design Studio, a landscape architecture firm.

Construction work is expected to finish in 2020.

The first phase will involve demolishing the existing gymnasium, and constructing a new indoor pool and gymnasium. SPF, in trying to save costs, said it is using pre-fabricated building components to put together a 40,000-square-foot building that includes a 23,000-square-foot pool facility. It will also add a 16,000-square-foot basketball gymnasium, a partially enclosed walking-track, two seating areas for the existing stadium and tennis center, and an enclosed garden.

The sports complex has played a role in the development of a number of professional athletes. The Williams sisters frequented the facility as children and a number of NFL players also used it while playing for the Dorsey High School football team, according to SPF. The complex supports basketball, baseball, football, rugby, tennis and swimming.