We’ve dusted off the cobwebs on our AP notebooks and met with project planners at City Hall in early March and May. The meetings were between Defenders of AP, City of Irvine Senior Park Planner Marie Luna, and members of the contracted design firm EPT. We focused on the design details of the park, with Defenders of AP providing feedback and suggestions where the design worked and didn’t work. For example, the implementation of a natural shoreline for the pond – great! An ultra-modern looking tree-house made out of steel and chain link fence? Not so great. More Tom Sawyer, more wood please.
We are encouraged by the design’s progression, and are especially impressed by the careful attention paid to every element, from the selection and placement of native plants down to the speed of the slides and use of recycled materials such as shipping containers for the staff building. The design is staying true to the vision set forth at the community workshops, and the dedication of the professionals managing this project is evident.
So what’s next?
Finalize the design, then make some pictures, scientific pictures called construction drawings. We saw a few of these in their early stages, specifically those elements that are designed from scratch: the amphitheater, staff building, tree-house, & sensory-garden. These drawings spell out all the details needed for construction companies to go in and build; e.g measurements, materials, location. Other elements in the park are “stock-items” so to speak, structures out of a manufacturer’s catalog: the sunken pirate ship, zip-line, and slides. This type of item speeds project completion because it is already approved by the city’s Plan Check department. Items designed from scratch will need the construction drawings to go through an approval process.
And the timeline? Design completion and construction drawings are happening now, followed by plan check which is expected to complete at the end of summer. Once the plan is green-lighted, the project is off to bid in mid-fall. It gets a price tag, and the city council votes to approve the whole deal. Here’s the good news about the money: funding for AP was already approved during the budgeting process in 2012. The money for construction is due to be available July 1st 2013, the quantity is a high-end guesstimate since the exact amount is unknown until bidding. Where did it come from? To quote Senior Park Planner Marie Luna, the budget was “was finalized with the approval of the William Lyons project and inter-fund transfers through the fiscal year-end report process”. I’m guessing the Lyon’s project refers to the slew of shmancy homes they’re building in University Park on the lot that was formerly occupied by Vista Verde elementary school. Anyhow, we’re looking at a Summer
2014 opening with construction starting Winter and going into Spring.
We want to give a big thank you to City of Irvine and EPT staff for valuing our input and taking the time to meet for updates and discussion. We also want to thank you the reader for continuing to show interest in AP. This is truly more than a park, it is a set of principles on what we value for our community, our culture, and our children. The number of newsletter subscribers continues to grow between each issue as new people discover what the Defenders of Adventure Playground are accomplishing.
Long live the AP legacy.
Defenders of Adventure Playground