Council Hears Update on Park Projects

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City staff presented an update on major park projects to the city council during a study session Tuesday.

Public Works Director Dave Webb spoke about three projects: Marina Park, Sunset Ridge Park and Sunset View Park. All three are on schedule and on budget, he reported.

There has been some question about the city’s ability to deliver municipal projects on time and on budget, Councilman Tony Petros noted.

“This is precisely the right answer and the correct answer to all of those who question our ability to deliver,” Petros said.

The 10-acre Marina Park includes two major buildings (a 10,500-square-foot community center and an 11,000-square-foot sailing center), 23 visitor serving slips, children play area, fitness circuit, café, picnic area, 177 parking spots and Girl Scouts leadership center. The scout center will be built at the end of the city’s project.

An artist’s rendering of Marina Park. — Photo courtesy city of Newport Beach ©
An artist’s rendering of Marina Park.
— Photo courtesy city of Newport Beach ©

Currently, the construction hard costs is tracking slightly below budget, Webb said.  The current actual total is about $38.38 million, just under the budgeted $39.5.

The project is on schedule for completion in spring of 2016.

California Coastal Commission staff noted that this was the first marina permitted in 23 years in California, Webb said.

“So it’s a real accomplishment by the city to pull that off,” he said.

The first phase, or bid package one, included demolition of the mobile home site and relocated the palm trees into a holding area. It was awarded to Unlimited Environmental and completed in March.

Work from this stage included hazardous material abatement, associated utility demolition and clearing the location, and building and mobile home removal. They also moved 47 of the 57 homes off-site for re-use, resulting in a credit of about $60,000 back into the project, Webb explained.

Bid package two, consisting of marina basin construction including dredging, bulkheads, grading and soil remediation, was awarded to Dutra Construction in December 2013.

“This is just concluding right now,” Webb noted.

Construction includes installing stone columns, concrete sheet piles, and tieback rods, building bulkhead caps, beach replenishment and rough grading.

“(It’s a) very complex project, but (it) went well,” Webb said.

The third bid package, building and site development, was awarded to KPRS Construction Services, Inc., in May. It overlaps package two in order to expedite the schedule, Webb explained.

Work includes the remaining demolition, construction of the building foundations and the underground utilities.

The steel erection for the sailing center should start in the next few weeks, Webb said.

Bid package four are the docks and the utilities and accessories for the marina itself. It’s expected to be advertised this fall.

They waited on this portion because they didn’t want vacant docks while the rest of the project was being built, Webb explained.

Staff originally were planning to obtain the LEED silver rating, but new U.S. Green Building Council changed the interpretation of their standards, Webb said.

“It’s the same rule, but they’re looking at it differently now,” he clarified.

It has to do with open operable windows within 25 feet of any open area, he explained.

The change caused the Marina Park design to not meet the qualifying prerequisite level for the ventilation portion of the building.

In order to meet the requirements, the ventilation and ducting system would need to be modified and would cost an additional $30,000, Webb noted.

There is no real benefit for doing it, he added. It’s more about just getting plaque now, he said. The building meets the intent of LEED silver, he said, and still keeps all the original energy efficient and re-use features.

“So why spend the additional $30,000 just to get the plaque?” he said.

Staff recommended to continue the construction as planned.

It’s more about meeting those standards, not necessarily having the plaque, Councilwoman Nancy Gardner pointed out.

“I think we’ve achieved that,” Webb replied.

Webb also update the council on the progress of Sunset Ridge Park.

“This project is progressing really well,” Webb said. “We’re getting close to the end here.”

The park includes a PONY league baseball field, two soccer fields, children’s play area, picnic area, butterfly garden, an ocean view overlook area, meandering walkways and restrooms.

The design plan for Sunset Ridge Park.
— Photo courtesy city of Newport Beach ©

They’ve graded, placed some utilities underground, almost finished construction on the restrooms and play area, built the overlook trellis, sidewalk placed and the beginning stages of the butterfly garden.

Sunset Ridge Park is on schedule with completion expected in December. The city is also planning a grand opening celebration for the park on Dec. 6.

The total anticipated cost for SRP is about $8.43 million.

Webb also mentioned the smaller Sunset View Park on the opposite side of Superior Avenue.

Sunset View Park is also on schedule with expected completion in December. The total anticipated cost is $322,000.

The city’s finances are in good shape, Councilman Mike Henn noted, which allows them to invest in projects that improve quality of life and public value. It is the duty of the council and staff to do just that, he said.

These parks are a great example of such an investment, Henn said.

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