Andover council hires consultant for park design project

The Andover City Council Dec. 18 hired WSB and Associates, Inc. to help design a new 40-acre city park.

The contract includes an hourly rate for service not to exceed an amount of $62,376 plus reimbursable expenses for permits and escrows. If the council down the road decides it wants to see how much an artificial turf field could cost, there would be an additional $4,850 fee.

The city purchased property on the northeast corner of 161st Avenue and Tulip Street last summer from Legacy Christian Academy. The school, when it was known as Meadow Creek Christian School, had bought the property for a new school. It is now focusing its attention on a site in Ramsey at the northwest corner of Highway 10 and Armstrong Boulevard.

Andover is focusing its attention on making this site the best park it can be. Although this site purchase came during a task force’s discussions of the need for more fields for youth football, lacrosse and soccer, the Parks and Recreation Commission and the council want to make this site an attractive amenity for all Andover’s residents.

City Engineer and Public Works Director David Berkowitz said the consultants who bid for this project were instructed that the city wants to preserve as much of the natural amenities as possible. The city sent out requests for proposals to eight companies and seven replied.

Berkowitz said WSB has a real good understanding of combining the natural amenities with the playing fields. The preliminary layout WSB sent to the city the day of the council meeting shows natural trails, boardwalks, a sliding hill, a nearby warming house, and a splash pad area with water features.

“They’re really thinking outside the box and I think you’ll be very happy with some of the things they bring back,” Berkowitz said.

“That is what I was hoping for that we get beyond the athletic fields, that we get into some imaginative things we could do out there community-wise,” Councilmember Mike Knight said.

Berkowitz said the parks commission was set to meet with the consultant Dec. 20 to go over ideas. He said the commission wants to have a couple more meetings in January, so this topic may come to a council workshop in February.

What WSB will be working on is a master plan for the site and the first-phase design. Andover budgeted $800,000 for the first phase.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]