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.
Calahan Tennis Court Resurfacing
As part of our regular maintenance these courts will get carcks filled and new surface paint.
Project update: Yesterday morning, BPRW’s contractor began resurfacing the tennis courts at Calahan Park. The courts’ age had opened up cracks on the court and resurfacing will improve the courts’ playing surface once complete. The courts are currently closed while the contractor cleans the courts with pressurized water and air, patches and fills cracks, and applies new textured paint with just enough sand to ensure a non-slip and safe playing surface. We expect the work to be completed and the courts to reopen by September 5th or 6th , 2020.
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.
- Work has been progressing smoothly on the court reconstruction and the contractor will be installing the final course of pavement on Tuesday 9/15. Work will slow down for two weeks following 9/15 while the pavement cures and releases gasses that would cause bubbling in the painted surfacing.
- We are hopeful that the weather will cooperate and the final surfacing will be put in place and the courts reopened by early October. This is highly weather sensitive work though as the painted surface cannot cure properly if there is rain or temperatures below 50 F. We will keep you posted
- All four tennis courts will have pickleball lines overlaid on them. Final colors will be USTA green courts with a blue use zone and blended blue pickleball lines.
Project update: The tennis court reconstruction at Leddy Park kicked into high-gear this week (8/31-9/4)!
After starting the project off with a brief demolition phase on August 17th, the contractor’s asphalt reclaimer ground the existing asphalt playing surface with the underlying sandy subbase to begin creating a firm base for the new pavement. Up next will be a front-loader equipped with a laser-guided grading blade pushing the freshly ground material into place to start making a subtle slope that will ensure water flows off the final court surface, but not so steep to affect the bounce of a tennis or pickleball.
After the grading, the contractor will be bringing 4 inches of fresh gravel to elevate the courts and add even more support to the new asphalt playing surface. There will be many trucks bringing fresh gravel into the park during this time, so please be mindful of construction vehicles traveling through the area and on Leddy Park Road. We expect the court construction to continue through September with a tentative reopening date the week of October 12th. We’ll post more updates with pictures as the project moves along on our website and social media.
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!
- The new gates have been installed and the Park is Open!
- There are several punch-list items that will need to be fixed that may necessitate the contractor coming back to the site, but we intend to find solutions to keep the dog park open while this work takes place.
- We are aware that the dog park water source is now outside the fence. The fence line was altered slightly along that side of the park to preserve the existing Lilac bushes, which caused the water spigot to be moved outside the fence line. Our staff will be relocating the spigot back inside the fence as their work schedule allows.
Project update 9/1: The replacement of the fence at the Starr Farm Dog Park began last Tuesday August, 25th. The contractor quickly pulled out the existing fencing and set to work laying out the new fence line.
With the new layout reviewed and confirmed by BPRW staff, a post-hole digger made short work digging the holes for over 150 new schedule-40 vinyl-coated steel posts. The last couple days of the week were spent setting these numerous posts in concrete while ensuring each post is plumb and at the correct height. With a few of the smaller runs complete, they moved into attaching and tensioning the fence fabric to some of the posts.
Starting this week, the fabric attachment and tensioning continued along at full speed and forms were put in place for new concrete pads at each entrance to the dog park. The new fence will be 5-feet-tall with the bottom 4-6 inches buried in the ground. This should help ensure that even the most athletic pups won’t be able to jump or dig their way out to go on a joy-run.
Given the steady progress the contractor has been making, we expect the construction to be complete by the end of the week (September 4th or earlier). We should be able to open the dog park immediately after the last touch-ups are completed on the fence. Please check back in with us via social media and on our website for future updates.
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.
Update: the project was completed mid-August. We are currently planning for the fitness sessions.
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.
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).