The unanimous approval by city councilors Wednesday for a second contract for the renovation of Rockwell Park should add as much as four weeks to the time workers will have to get things done this year, Park Director Ed Swicklas said.
The contract calls for paying the Schulz Corp. for $2.3 million to carry on the second phase of the park’s overhaul. It got $1.6 million for doing the initial part of the massive project, which is nearly complete.
Swicklas said that speeding up the project is also likely to save money for taxpayers because the cost of materials is escalating daily.
“We tried to save as much as we could,” he said.
The first part of the project focused on improving the parking lots and constructing a new entrance.
In the second phase, the contractor will install a new and fully accessible playground, divided into a section of toddler and another for older children.
More lighting, accessible walkways, a new restroom and a spray park are going in as well, located between the skate park and the Little League fields to the west – one of which will be lighted.
The old stone tower near the playground will be renovated and may be used to hold the mechanicals for the spray park.
There will also be horseshoe and bocce courts, plus two sand volleyball courts and two new picnic pavilions.
Swicklas said that with the approval of the second phase contract, park officials will turn their attention to the final phase, which would include the reopening of the historic lagoon.
Plans call for filling half of it and turning the eastern half into a wetlands, perhaps with an education boardwalk through them.
There won’t be swimming or a beach, officials have said.
The skatepark is slated to open by early fall on the site of the former basketball court. Construction on it should be underway soon.
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