Construction for Measure J Project in Village & Plaza Park Postponed

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In conjunction with the Village's 75th-anniversary celebration, the Measure J Project in Village & Plaza Park—consisting of renovation to the community clubhouse, a remodel of Veteran's Memorial Amphitheatre, and redevelopment of Plaza and Village Parks—was set to break ground on Oct. 8, 2020. However, construction on all three projects has been postponed in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but more pressingly, logistics surrounding lining up all three projects to make completion more efficient, according to district administrator Mike Aho.

Demolition of the clubhouse and amphitheater is set to begin at the end of February and the estimation is for all three projects to be completed 18 months from the time dirt is turned in the park. That estimation is a moving target, Aho said.

"Something could show up like sprinkler lines we didn’t know existed," he explained. "We may have to modify/redo certain things as we go along. It's an old park and it's got a lot of plans. It was not systematically built. It was built with volunteered labor and over time. Basically, there's 80 years of random build there."

Lumping three projects into one is a result of economics having scaled, Aho continued. Since all three projects are in the same general area, having the ability to dispose of hazardous materials all at once, for example, reduces the overall impact to the Village. This means the park would only need to be closed at one singular time rather than multiple times to accommodate different projects.

Additionally, parking has been a noted concern of the community. The project is set to add 20 new parking spots, and while construction is going on, the plan is to keep as many existing parking spots open as possible.

"As we do construction for this year and a half, we are working on keeping the parking open around the park and in front of the clubhouse as long as realistically possible," Aho said. "Some of it will never close, others for a short window of time, and others a longer window while we demo[lish] asphalt and things like that. People are concerned we’re going to shut all the parking down for 18 months. That’s not correct."

The community clubhouse renovations include updated ADA accessibility, updated HVAC system, renovated restrooms at Village Hall, lighting improvements, audio/visual system improvements, and aesthetic improvements throughout.

the existing amphitheater building will be remodeled and enhanced to include a lobby, dressing rooms, recreation rooms, an enclosed black box theater, new restrooms, updated ADA accommodations, and an outdoor raised stage facing Plaza Park. The remodel will update the exterior of the facility to bring it in line with current village aesthetics. With these improvements, the Amphitheatre will be able to be used year-round despite heat, cold, or rain.

Finally, the park will include a walking path that goes around connecting Plaza Park and Village Park. There will be a small stage in Plaza Park for performances and events.

In total, there will be seven different project teams trying to coordinate work from beginning to end, Aho said, so there is some strategy involved in the bidding process. Members of the community can expect construction to begin once fences go up around the park.

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