Blaine Park Board gets status report on major projects

Blaine Park Board commissioner recently learned about three upcoming projects that are progressing through development.

This Aquatore Park map shows the general location of the new curling rink, current softball fields and the location of the new Aquatore Park Field No. 1, which will feature a different orientation than depicted. Home plate will face east, not west. Map graphic Blaine GIS

This Aquatore Park map shows the general location of the new curling rink, current softball fields and the location of the new Aquatore Park Field No. 1, which will feature a different orientation than depicted. Home plate will face east, not west. Map graphic Blaine GIS

Jim Kappelhoff, park and recreation director, provided Legacy Creek Park, Lexington Athletic Complex and Aquatore Park updates at a July 24 meeting.

Construction on Legacy Creek Park has been delayed from August to late September. The city is waiting for drawings from the developer, Kappelhoff said.

SRF Consulting Group, Inc. has completed a certified land survey for Legacy Creek, he said. Construction bids were scheduled to go out earlier this week.

During their July 24 meeting, commissioners also recommended that the council accept a $60,000 new playground equipment plan for Legacy Creek Park

The new equipment is included in the 2012 capital improvement program.

During discussion, Kappelhoff said city staff would buy the new equipment through the U.S. Communities Government Alliance.

Legacy Park meeting

Residents living near the park were invited to a neighborhood meeting June 28 to provide input and choices for the play equipment, Kappelhoff said.

“There were 17 people at the meeting, including parents and children, most of the equipment they had chosen was already in place in the park plan,” he said.

Commissioner Jeffery Bird asked Kappelhoff if city staff had selected Legacy Creek Park’s regular and emergency access routes.

Commissioner Rex Markle asked about parking.

“What we plan on doing is putting a temporary trail at the end of Legacy Creek Parkway for park access, either by walking, biking or running,” Kappelhoff said.

From the west, park access would be through Savanna Grove Park. No motorized vehicles would be allowed in the park.

Four of five parking spaces will be added when the Legacy Creek Parkway is completed, Kappelhoff said. Trails within in the park are typically eight feet wide and will be OK for emergency access.

“We still plan on having the park completed in late September,” he said.

The park equipment plan is scheduled for Blaine City Council review Aug. 16.

Lexington complex

The city has closed on the 40-acre Lexington Avenue parcel, Kappelhoff said. Park board commissioners visited the vacant site during their annual June tour.

“It has been deeded over to the city, Kappelhoff said. “We’ve sent request for proposals to four contractors: Pioneer Engineering, SRF Consultants, WSB & Associates, Inc. and Sanders Wacker Bergely. Those four will be submitting RFPs and we well get those back Aug. 28. This is quite a large project.”

The council would approve the choice of consultant.

The Lexington Athletic Complex will be Blaine’s last multi-use recreation area. It will include three to four fields for youth baseball and youth and adult softball as well as five-multi-use fields for football, soccer and lacrosse, a full basketball court and four lighted tennis courts.

The athletic complex is scheduled for completion in 2014, Kappelhoff said.

“We are looking forward to this and it will be a lengthy process, but when you are building a 40-acre athletic complex, it takes some time,” he said.

Aquatore field project

In the southern part of the city, the Fogerty Ice Arena curling rink construction project is going full bore.

Nearby, the replacement of Aquatore Park Field No. 1 remains on track.

According to Kappelhoff, soil borings for the replacement field were conducted and eight to 12 feet of peat was discovered in the proposed outfield area.

“We were looking pretty good to the east, but heading west, the peat’s deeper and we may have to do some soil corrections,” Kappelhoff told commissioners.

Once the undesirable soils were located, city staff decided to flip the field and orient home plate toward the west,” Kappelhoff said.

Doing so will provide more stable soil in the infield area. “That’s where you get most of the play,” he said. “We’ll also add two feet of borrow fill in there and let it settle over the winter.”

Bids for the replacement field construction work will be sent out this month with clear cutting, grubbing and importing clean fill scheduled for this fall, he said.

“We could move faster if we sodded the outfield as opposed to seeding it, get it established quicker,” Kappelhoff said.

The work is scheduled for completion late next summer or early fall 2013.

“We’ll miss the opening of the 2013 season. baseball and softball season. It’s just one of those things,” Kappelhoff said.

The city’s field replacement agreement with the Fogerty Arena Board of Directors is likely to take effect when the curling arena is fully functioning, he said.

Tim Hennagir is at tim.hennagir@ecm-inc.com

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