By Maria Polletta for The Arizona Republic
Engineers have revealed the final design for a 272-acre, $174M regional park in Gilbert, the culmination of a five-month process that began with nearly 30 options.
The revised plan has less commercial space and fewer sports fields than previous versions, with more precise — though still tentative — cost estimates and construction schedules.
Here are key pieces shared at the May 24 unveiling.
Previous designs included 90KSF-100KSF of commercial space, an element that met considerable pushback from some Parks, Recreation and Library Services Advisory Board members who worried about introducing a “fancy strip mall” that didn’t mesh with the rest of the park.
Potential tenants could include local restaurants and retail related to park activities, such as a bicycle shop.
Early park plans were “loaded up” with 37 sports fields to address the town’s overall field needs.
The revised plan has five multipurpose fields, four soccer fields, four baseball fields, and four softball fields.
Sean Wozny, civil engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates, the consulting firm that helped prepare and present the final design said that constructing that portion of the park will require the relocation of 2.5 million cubic yards of dirt, which could take up to three years.
Aquatic and recreation center
In the final design, aquatic and recreation centers previously presented as separate amenities are combined into one 100KSF facility.
Development of the sprawling center would warrant its own feasibility study to determine specific activities it could host and the square footage needed for each, he said.
For a full-size image of the design, click here.
Previous construction timelines had the first phase of the park opening as early as 2018.
According to the new schedule, initial construction phases wouldn’t finish before July 2019, and the full park could take until 2027 to complete.
The Gilbert Town Council is expected to review the plan at its June 23 meeting. Detailed conversations about financing mechanisms will follow.
Read more at The Arizona Republic