Archive for Thursday, October 27, 2005

Estimated price tag for park: $29 million

October 27, 2005

Total construction costs for Lansing's future 128-acre community park are more than $29.6 million. At least that's the estimate given in a draft of the master plan distributed to Mayor Kenneth Bernard, City Administrator Mike Smith, and Parks and Recreation director Jason Crum.

Lansing City Council will meet at 7 p.m. today, Oct. 27, in a study session to review the draft master plan for the park drawn up by J.L. Bruce & Co. architectural planning firm. Council members will discuss the draft with JBC representatives and the phasing of construction for the park.

Shannon Gordon, senior engineer with JBC, said the park plan discussion would include construction phases and costs and focus on "where we go from here."

Among the amenities in the park favored by residents are an aquatic center, soccer fields, softball and baseball fields, a Lansing DAZE facility and walking paths.

In regards to the estimated price, Smith said, "I think we can do better than that" by phasing out costs over a longer period, cutting back on some of the features in the park and hiring local contractors.

The plan was developed over the summer by JBC after a series of community meetings that included two needs-assessment forums and a two-day design "charrette" workshop. The charrette was a forum for community members to comment on successive rough drafts of the park plan as they were drawn by Gordon, then synthesized to include the most popularly requested features in the park.

A survey of the plan was mailed in late September to 2000 randomly selected Lansing and Leavenworth County residents. Results will be presented by JBC representatives at tonight's meeting.

Crum said the response rate of the surveys exceeded by nearly a third the number hoped for: 406 Lansing residents and 190 Leavenworth County residents responded.

Crum said of the strong response rate to the surveys, "It leads me to believe people are interested enough" in the project.

Crum said he was both "excited and nervous" about tonight's session, which he will be attending.

"I hope it's something that everyone's going to want and be proud of," he said, but "anything that's got a price tag" is a cause for worry, he said.

The council will also discuss planning for the 2006 Lansing DAZE at the session.

The study session, which is open to the public, will be at Lansing City Hall, 800 First Terrace.

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