Riverview Park concept approved

The Coon Rapids City Council has given the green light for final design work to begin on the redevelopment of Riverview Park.

The council last month approved the preliminary design concept and authorized a consultant services agreement with WSB & Associates for final design, bidding and construction management services.

The Riverview Park redevelopment will be the first project implemented as part of the $17.2 million park bond referendum approved by Coon Rapids voters in November 2013.

The concept plan includes the same amenities that were part of the master plan for the park that was presented to a neighborhood meeting in February 2011.

Lack of money prevented the council from moving forward with the redevelopment project then, but it was the catalyst for the council to order an updated master plan for the city’s parks and trails system and ultimately led to the successful bond referendum last fall.

Major elements of the concept plan for Riverview include:

• Regrading the entire site.

• Two paved parking lots providing off-street parking for 213 spaces; the upper lot (80 spaces) would be open year-round, while the lower lot would be closed during the winter for a portable hockey rink and general skating area to be placed over the pavement. The existing entrance off Uplander would be closed.

• Construction of a new playground area with separate play areas for various age groups connected by an exterior walkway and a 14- by 16-foot picnic shelter located adjacent to the playground.

• Hard surface court areas for tennis and basketball (half-court).

• New skate park with paved surface on the western edge of the park with screening.

• Two new T-ball fields with 120-foot foul lines adjacent to the Little League fields.

• Multi-purpose building with community rooms, fire place, warming house, restrooms and storage space.

• New internal trail system providing connection between Uplander and 105th.

• New drainage improvements to provide necessary storm water management.

• Increased landscaping phased over time throughout the park to provide buffering from adjacent homes.

The plan was presented to a neighborhood meeting in January and received support with some minor tweaks suggested, according to Tim Himmer, city public works director.

Those tweaks include an additional picnic shelter, removable hockey boards and a reduction in size of the multi-purpose building, Himmer said.

“But the major sentiment of the residents at the meeting was to get this project moving forward,” he said.

The Coon Rapids Parks and Recreation Commission at its February meeting recommended the Riverview concept plan be approved by the council.

According to Himmer, the project timetable calls for design work to be completed in April with bidding in May and construction to start in late May for completion in late fall, although some minor landscape items will have to be carried over to 2015.

Redevelopment work will affect the entire park except for the Coon Rapids National Little League baseball fields, so the park will be closed during construction, apart from the baseball fields, Himmer said.

Reconstruction work has an estimated cost of $1.4 million and that plus the projected $145,015.00 fee for WSB & Associates will be paid from the park bond issue, he said.

This is the first step to putting the park bond dollars to good use, according to Mayor Tim Howe. “I’m excited to see this happen,” Howe said.

Under the park bond issue priorities, work will also take place this year on city trail connections, he said.

The planning and public process has also started on the project to completely redevelop Sand Creek Park, which at 50 acres is the city’s largest park. An estimated $5.7 million worth of improvements are planned.

Two meetings have taken place so far this year with users of the park when preliminary drawings were unveiled. A neighborhood meeting is planned this spring.

Construction work is expected to take place at Sand Creek Park in 2015 and 2016.

  • LauraBeak

    This is cool and all, but I want to see RiverWIND redeveloped how it was when it was in its prime. Acorn Park also needs a face lift. That playground is outrageously dangerous and boring. Remodel it as a modern version of how it was in the ’80s. It ROCKED then. It’s one of the smaller parks, so it shouldn’t soak up too much money. :)

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