Several Parks projects are moving forward after a tumultuous spring balancing changes in operations and uncertainties brought on by COVID-19. While the weather gave the impression of an early construction season, health restrictions and budgetary constraints put several Parks projects on hold, some temporarily and some for the longer term, while our planning and marketing team waded through constant changes and weighed the effects of each shift in operations on our project timelines.
Now that construction is in full swing and financial impacts of COVID-19 on our parks planning budgets have been re-evaluated, re-adjusted and re-set, project work is progressing within both an adjusted schedule and outlook. Below is a summary of projects that were in progress and their statuses now.
Leddy Park Tennis Courts Reconstruction: Initially placed on hold due to financial uncertainties and a need to first address safety and security concerns in our Parks , reconstruction of the Leddy Park Tennis Courts is moving ahead. Per the plans prepared by our staff throughout the winter months, the reconstruction is expected to begin in August and wrap up in early October. These tennis courts are heavily used by the Burlington High School athletics team and will be a welcome amenity for them to access during their next spring season.
Champlain Street Park: With the initialpublic outreach wrapped up just before COVID-19 arrived in Vermont, this project’s design has been temporarily put on hold for planning staff to support other divisions with construction/installation projects this summer. Redesign of the park is envisioned to kick back into gear in fall, with reconstruction envisioned for next early summer (2021).
Starr Farm Dog Park Fence: Initially placed on hold due to financial uncertainties and a need to address safety and security concerns in our Parks, the Starr Farm Dog Park Fence Request for Proposals (RFP) was re-released in early June with a closing date of June 26th, 2020. After a thorough, public outreach process and work on design in-house this past winter, the fence of the dog park will be replaced this summer once a contractor has been secured. Several bids have been received and are currently under review by BPRW staff. More updates forthcoming!
Lakeview Cemetery Section 8 Design: As Lakeview Cemetery reaches capacity , time has come to review existing space for design and expansion of burial locations. BPRW has hired The LA Group,teamed with local engineering firm DuBois & King, to provide concepts to the City on a variety of burial options and layouts in this section which overlooks the lake. Concepts are expected to be presented in late July/early August.
Miller Recreation Center Fitlot: Through a grant-funded AARP initiative, Burlington was selected to receive a ‘Fitlot’ outdoor gym atthe Miller Recreation Center. Per Fitlot’s definition, [A Fitlot] “strengthens people and their communities by supporting the creation of public outdoor fitness par ks”. People of all ages and abilities are able to come together and use the equipment for free. The hope is that the equipment will encourage people of all abilities and ages to exercise while getting to know their neighbors. The new FitLot will be similar to the exercise stations installed in the Urban Reserve along the Burlington Greenway, which have successfully encouraged exercise among people of all ages. The installation of the Fitlot at the Miller Recreation Center is expected to be completed by the beginning of July . Like the other exercise stations and playgrounds in the city, BPRW does not have the capacity to frequently clean these high-touch surfaces and everyone is urged to be cautious and follow the latest CDC health and safety protocols around Covid-19 when engaging in activities in our parks.