Press Release
June 5, 2002

San Juan Bautista Park Rededication

Lauren E. Verutti Memorial Park
Second Street, San Juan Bautista
Rededication, Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 2:30 PM

Neighbors, friends and city officials will gather this afternoon at 2:30 pm to rededicate a small, but exceptionally popular park, in San Juan Bautista. The park was first dedicated ten years ago (1992) and the park has recently undergone major improvement and upgrading thanks to efforts of area businesses and residents.

The park is dedicated in the memory of Lauren E. Verutti who died at the young age of three. For most of her life, she fought a disease which eventually took her life and took her from her family—the Veruttis—who have made San Juan Bautista their home since the 1800s. Lauren would have been a fifth-generation-Verutti in San Juan. Graniterock employees were so distressed at Lauren’s loss that a group of Graniterock People decided to do something in Lauren’s memory that would serve all of the children of San Juan Bautista. The result is what the public will see today at the rededication ceremony.

After the Graniterock People decided they wanted to do something, Bruce W. Woolpert and Joel Verutti approached the City of San Juan Bautista in 1991. They asked the city if abandoned tennis courts could be used for a new city park. The city then, and now, has given the project encouragement and cheered the idea forward. Woolpert said, “We are so thankful for the City’s enthusiastic support and ideas which have enhanced the park design.”

The park has been built in two stages. The first stage, completed in 1992, involved about half of the play equipment that people see in the park now and more modest landscaping. The second phase, completed just recently and the subject of today’s rededication, includes a number of extensive improvements including a doubling of the playground equipment—some new equipment for older children, more picnic areas, more covered area so people can get out from the sun, much improved landscaping and irrigation, new concrete sidewalks, and a new fence to prevent children from running out into adjoining streets. All together, including volunteer time and financial support provided by Graniterock and area businesses, the total project investment has been $300,000. Joel Verutti, Lauren’s father, said, “But, more than dollars, this has been a labor of love and caring for Lauren and the children of San Juan Bautista.”

Among those who contributed time and financial support for the project are:

Graniterock, especially Graniterock’s Pavex Construction Division who served as general contactor for this project and contributed mightily in hours of work and major financial support—for this project’s completion.
Jon Badeaux Construction and their crew, and Graniterock Team Members, Bill Russell and Pete Alton, who donated time to build the arbors.
RMC Pacific Materials who donated the playground sand from their Monterey Lapis Quarry.
South County Concrete Pumping, Randy Norton, who donated concrete pumping services.
Members of San Juan Bautista’s City Council are expected to attend today’s rededication.

“The Lauren E. Verutti Park is probably the most popular park in San Benito County. Family barbecues, birthday parties, and children enjoying time outdoors are just some of the uses. But, the park also serves as a regional park that supports public schools throughout northern California. For example, when schools in Silicon Valley come to visit the Mission as part of fourth grade Social Studies, students have spent time in this park before boarding buses for the trip home,” explained Bruce W. Woolpert, Graniterock president & CEO. “So the park really has become a celebration of children living in San Juan Bautista and thousands of visiting children from miles around,” said Woolpert.

Keith Severson, Graniterock, served as Master of Ceremonies at today’s rededication. He thanked everyone for coming and encouraged attendees at today’s rededication to enjoy refreshments and YOUR new park. “Reflecting on what has transpired over ten years from abandoned tennis courts to this beautiful park, I think all Americans can be proud of the difference people can make when they put their minds, hearts and bodies to it,” said Severson.

For more information, contact:
Keith Severson, Marketing Services Manager, 831.768.2063
Joel Verutti, 831.471.3450