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CDD Approves $1.56 Million Parks Plan

At their Oct. 6 meeting, Westchase CDD supervisors approved the parks plan proposed by designer Neale Stralow of Stantec.

The product of months of discussion, the plan promises a makeover of Baybridge and Glencliff Parks while offering new amenities for the West Park Town Center green on Montague Street.

Following changes made by Westchase Community Development District (CDD) supervisors at their Oct. 6 meeting and the discovery of a calculation error in their original projections (See the CDD meeting notes on page 12), the capital improvement program is expected to cost approximately $1.56 million. Supervisors, however, don’t expect to raise district assessments. Two budgets ago, they increased assessments to collect $400,000 per year over a handful of years to pay for the project.

West Park Village Town Center Green

In his plan, Stralow refers to the green and spray pad area as the West Park Village Plaza and suggests $435,000 in improvements. First, the proposal calls for the renovation of the existing splash pad, which sits just north of the band shell. The pad has never quite functioned as designed and its pavers are bleached by sun and water. The proposal would replace the pad with a new, better functioning spray area at a cost of $165,000. Second, the plan suggests the creation of a new 2,000 sq. ft. playground area, with play equipment on a rubberized surface. The main play equipment, geared toward young children who would use the splashpad, would be shaded with a 30 foot by 30 foot canvas cover. The playground would be located just north of the splash area. The plan pegs the playground costs at roughly $74,200, plus $11,425 for its shade structure. In addition, fencing, irrigation and benches for the entire area are estimated to cost $60,000. Renovations of the existing restrooms are estimated at $12,000. Stralow also included a 10 percent contingency ($39,538) to account for cost overruns.

At the Oct. 6 meeting supervisors approved the incorporation of an additional, new amenity for the area – one focused on the pre-teens and teens who gather in the area after school. Stralow proposed the expenditure of $30,000 on the construction of two concrete table tennis courts (ping pong tables), surrounded by additional benches and enhanced landscaping. The area would sit in the green space adjacent to New Park Road, immediately across that street from the bell tower.

Baybridge Park

While the large field with three pavilions on Baybridge Park’s western side and its walking trail and adult exercise equipment on the eastern side will see no changes, the park’s playground area and large adjacent pavilion will see a significant makeover. The plan proposed approximately $373,000 in work and equipment, including a $33,900 contingency of 10 percent for unexpected overruns.

In order to redirect cyclists from pedaling through the picnic pavilion, new fences to control access will be placed across its approaching sidewalks. To accommodate and reroute bikes, a new seven-foot, winding sidewalk is suggested between the existing restrooms and the two closest pavilions in the large field. Supervisors also asked Stralow to ensure that the children’s play area is completely surrounded by fencing. These improvements, along with proposed security cameras, are estimated at $75,000.

The two existing playground structures would be replaced at a cost of $123,500 and the current mulched area on which they sit would be replaced with a rubberized 6,600 square foot surface with a stabilized stone shell base at a cost of $85,200. (The existing large oak in the playground would remain.) The existing shade structures fitted with new canvas covers at a cost of $14,635. To resolve the issue of teens climbing onto the shade structures, the district’s new play equipment will be lower.

Additionally, the parking lot would be resurfaced ($10,000), the picnic tables and benches would be replaced and an ADA-compliant round table will be placed in the large pavilion ($15,000), new use signage will be added ($7,500), the restrooms would be renovated ($8,000) and a new water fountain that allows residents to fill water bottles would be installed ($6,000).

At the Oct. 6 meeting, supervisors also asked Stralow for additional fencing to ensure the entire play area is cordoned off from the rest of the park and parking lot.

Glencliff Park

Glencliff Park will see the largest infusion of renovation funds at an estimated $719,900, including a 10 percent contingency of $65,400 for possible overruns.

The two existing playground structures would be replaced at a cost of $119,600 and the current mulched area on which they sit would be replaced with a rubberized 8,000 square foot surface at a cost of $103,000. The existing shade structures would be fitted with new canvas covers at a cost of 18,900. Further, the wood shingle roof of the gazebo would be replaced ($9,000).

Additionally, the parking lots would be resurfaced ($25,000), the picnic tables and benches would be replaced ($15,000), new use signage would be added ($7,500), the restrooms would be renovated ($20,000), a new water fountain that allows residents to fill water bottles would be added ($6,000) and 20 low painted steel security posts separating the parking lot from playing fields would be installed ($5,400).

The plan calls for a major realignment of the park’s southern half. The existing baseball diamond would disappear. The two full basketball courts would be relocated to an area adjacent to the southern parking lot ($110,000) and the area where they currently sit would be converted into a fenced, open play area. A 50 foot by 50 foot portion of the old courts, however, would be cut down, retained and resurfaced, providing a concrete pad for such activities as hopscotch and four-square. ($15,000).

The remaining field space would be re-graded and re-sodded. While the original plan called for chain link fencing around portions of the two soccer fields, supervisors removed the proposed fencing in September for aesthetic reasons. The large soccer field adjacent to the northern parking lot off Glencliff Circle would also be re-graded and re-sodded ($79,000) and a new smaller soccer/lacrosse field, carved out of the existing baseball diamond, would be regraded and sodded ($30,000).

Miscellaneous Add-Ons

The plan also contains a section containing miscellaneous add-ons costing $31,600 (including a 10 percent contingency of $2,875) if supervisors opt for them. These include five bike rack replacements ($5,000); five replacement park benches ($5,000); five replacement garbage receptacles ($5,000), five garbage receptacles for recyclable materials ($8,500), and trail pavement mile markers for Linebaugh Avenue and Countrway Boulevard. ($1,500).

In addition, Supervisor Bob Argus asked for costs to extend potable water (for a drinking fountain) and electricity to a small pocket park on the north side of Linebaugh Avenue just west of the health clinic (the area currently has a single landscaped park bench). Stralow did not have these costs by deadline. Expected to be expensive, this option did not appear to have support of a majority of supervisors at the October CDD meeting.

Supervisors approved the design plan in October as the first step in placing the project to bid. While approved, the plan is not chiseled in stone and may see changes, additions and deletions in upcoming months.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

Posted: 1 November 2015


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