Chula Vista Approves Design-Build Project

December 11, 2009

In about a year from now, children and families living in the eastern part of Chula Vista near Olympian High School will enjoy a new neighborhood park, as the City Council has approved the price tag on a 7.6-acre project.

The council Tuesday evening adopted a resolution that guarantees a maximum price of $2.49 million to the contractor of this project, Erickson-Hall Construction.

Construction of All Seasons Park consists of a design-build project with two areas, a lower and an upper side.

The upper area will be made up of a multi-purpose soccer-size grass field, and the lower level will contain a play area for toddlers, grade school children and full basketball court with lights.

"The park's land is kind of split into these two levels, so the park's design made more sense this way," said Nathan Complin, construction manager for Erickson-Hall.

The design of the park also has restrooms, tables, benches, grills, bike racks and a pathway that will connect to the neighborhood's walking trails.

There is also a small parking lot in the blueprints.

Complin said the majority of the work would be subcontracted out.

Erickson-Hall, who also designed the park, will manage the construction of this project.

Funding for the park comes from fees paid by the developer, which is in the city's general plan that requires 3 acres of park space to be built for every housing development built for 1,000 people. Money also comes from homeowners and homeowners' association fees.

All Seasons Park will be located in the Vista Verde community, which is "village seven" in the Otay Ranch development.

Complin said all that is left for construction to begin is a grading permit. He expected the project to get under way in January, and for it to be completed in eight to nine months.

Once Erickson-Hall is done with its task, Hopkins said the city won't open the park until three or four months afterwards, so grass and other plant life has time to grow.

"We are looking to open up this new park in January 2011," he said.

Erickson-Hall was originally contracted by Chula Vista in May 2007. This is the fourth park in Chula Vista for which Erickson-Hall has been contracted, including Mountain Hawk Park, Harborside Park and Mount San Miguel Community Park. Erickson-Hall has also completed four community fire stations in Chula Vista.

The city will maintain the park though the city's annual general fund, which partly comes from taxes collected from residents, even though Chula Vista's public works department has been cut by more than 25 percent due to the financial state the city is in.

"People may ask, 'Why build a new park if staff had to be reduced,'" said Hopkins of residents' concerns of not hiring more staff rather than building a new park. "Well, this was a park that was already in the general plan and it's something residents are entitled to have whether staff services are cut or not."

Hopkins added that because of city budget cuts, the Public Works Department -- which also handles potholes, sidewalks and sewers -- can now only check on its 54 parks once a day.

"Even though our department has been cut by about 25 percent, I am proud of the work our workers due and feel they do a pretty good job," said Hopkins, who added that if Chula Vista residents see an issue that needs to get resolved to call the department at 619-397-6000 or by going onto the city's Web site.