From: Linda JonesI went to the pre-construction meeting for the park yesterday and it was quite a big deal. The meeting really illustrated what an incredible effort this has been and what a tremendous amount of work, collaboration and coordination there is to still accomplish before the park is a reality. There were 10 people there (and a number absent) including representatives of the park department, the design consultants and the contractors. The "notice to proceed" will be issued on April 15th and that is when the contractor is planning to get started. The contract itself was about 4 inches thick! They have 180 days from the 15th to complete the project. They went over the major provisions and the plan in general and talked about some of the issues - like the time it takes to order and receive the manufactured pieces, how much of the native terrain around the trees to leave intact, etc.. The contractor intends to have an onsite construction trailer which they were trying to figure out where to place. There will be weekly progress meetings onsite every Wednesday at 10:00, starting on April 24th. The contractor also mentioned that he'd been out to the site and was very impressed with the lack of trash. He said it was very unusual.I will plan to attend the first progress meeting and will determine then how often we need to show up to keep tabs on the park development.Hark, hark!! There really will be a park!!Yay us!!
"Once we have the building permit, we can submit our plans to the City’s Program Management Office and the Contract and Land Management Department for reviews. These reviews will likely take four weeks. Once we’ve addressed all the concerns raised in those reviews, we can post the project for bids for construction contracts. The “Bid/Award/Execution” phase usually takes about four months for City projects by the time they get to City Council for authorization. Having said all that, we should be breaking ground right at six months from now."So, if all goes smoothly in the City's approval process, sometime late fall we'll have a ground breaking! If you want to look at the progress of the permit online https://www.ci.austin.tx.us/devreview/a_queryfolder_permits.jsp , the case number is SPC-2009-0371C.
I spoke with Gary Gregson to get clarification on a few questions that have come up since the meeting:
How long will it take? At least a year longer…
The park is now in the design phase.
When the design is further along, PARD will submit the site plan to City of Austin Watershed Protection and Development Review. Their review could take up to 6 months and the result will be an approved Site Plan Permit.
Once the Site Plan is approved, contractor bids will be solicited for the project. That can take approximately 3 months.
Once the contractor is selected, the construction contract goes before City Council for their approval.
After City Council approval, then PARD will issue a notice to proceed to the contractor.
The contractor will then schedule the construction to begin.
Whew! Sometime before that last step, our volunteer group will do a “plant rescue” in the area that will be disturbed by the park construction. There are several lantanas and verbenas and other native plants that we can transplant to other sections of the greenbelt.
Can we (the City) afford all the amenities we saw? Part of MWM Design’s goal is to design a park that can actually be built within the budget PARD has set for our pocket park. There are ways to offset the costs if funding runs short during the park’s development (PARD construction of the walking loop, neighbors donating trees, etc) but we hope there will be enough funding to cover it all!
Why 16 parking spaces? Gary is going to get with Marty and they will fill us in on how it was decided to have space for 16 cars in the parking lot.
Will we have access to electricity? Yes, electrical outlets are possible. Gary spoke with Jimmy Cone and the most feasible way is to have the electrical panel itself locked. Then, groups will arrange with PARD to unlock and turn on the power for scheduled events. So, the locking feature would be on the panel, not on individual outlets.
Do we get both swings and play scape?
If we get swings, then the play scape will be one unit combined to accommodate all the age groups.
If we don’t have swings, then there could be 2 play scape structures. One unit for the 2 – 5 age group and another structure for the 5 – 12 age group.
The play scape pictures we saw at the meeting are actual play scapes installed in City of Austin Parks . Gary will be sending me the location of them so we can visit them in person. Gary mentioned the fire engine feature is for ages 2 – 5 and is located in Davis White park off Loyola.
What color will the play scape be? Well, it seems we didn’t come to a consensus decision on that last Thursday. MWM Design and Gary will be meeting regarding the manufacturer selection for the play scape and the pavilion. The manufacturer will determine the actual colors available for these features. And, they will want to coordinate the color of the pavilion with the play scape. So, once the color options are narrowed down, Gary will do an online survey regarding the color choices and hope we’ll reach consensus opinion that way.
Notes taken by Mica Hanchey
Marty Stump with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) began his presentation showing the “Cartoon” and the revised “Construction” drawings. The Construction drawing, Site Plan C101, showed the suggested changes made at the Ice Cream Social Meeting. Those changes included:
· Swing set including 6 swings – 4 belt and 2 bucket
· Parking lot was reduced to 6-7 spaces with the ability to expand if needed for the Trailhead
· Playscape age appropriate for 2-12 with a cool topper
· Playscape area will have 2 picnic tables
· Wood fiber for the Playscape area ground cover
· Stairs from the pavilion were replaced with a sloping walkway
Features that will remain unchanged:
· Steel framed Pavilion with views over meadow and pond
· Butterfly Garden with irrigation
· New plantings and grass area with irrigation for 2-3 years to grow in
· Grass areas will use native grasses around Playscape and be mowed by the City on a two (2) week schedule
· Garbage will be picked up by the City regularly
· Lights will be in the parking lot and pavilion timed from dusk to 10:00 pm (when park closes; flexible)
· Electrical outlet in pavilion with a lockbox managed by the Adopt A Park
· Kiosk with posted park hours, Trailhead map and rules, including Adopt A Park contact information
· Water fountain with doggie bowl
· Looped walking trail
It is estimated that the “Schedule Permit” issued for bidding purposes will take six (6) months. Construction will begin in 2010 wrapping up by the end of next summer. By Thanksgiving 2009 the drawings will be completed and the park will go to “Schedule Permit”. During the “Schedule Permit” we will need to choose the colors and play features for the children’s Playscape. It was suggested that a “Survey Monkey” be sent out to the neighbors to find out their choices.
It was also noted that PARD conducted a traffic study on Yager and the speed was determined to be safe for the park entrance.
Park signage will be provided by PARD during construction and a final sign for “Copperfield Greenbelt Park”.
It was suggested that:
· Plant Rescue take place before the construction begins
· Looped walking trail could be linked to the Atterbury Trail entrance (It will be a consideration if there is enough money based on a unit price for the trail construction.)