City Looking for Input to Revamp Central Avenue, Hale School Parks

The City is seeking input from residents on a proposal to renovate and revamp two parks up the hill from Ferry Street – with one of them proposed to be a colossal dog park.

The City unveiled plans from Bohler Engineering on Monday at a public meeting cut thin by the snow storm, and the plans call for new concepts at the Central Avenue playground and the Hale School Site on Glendale Street. Both are just around the corner from one another, and City Planner Tony Sousa said they are being viewed as tandem projects.

Both parks are in a heavily and dense residential district on the west side of Broadway, and are funded within the current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

Central Avenue appears to be the most exciting of the two proposals, with a plan to convert the playground into a $1.1 million dog park.

“Central Avenue is a small parcel and our proposal is to convert it into a dog park with some public gathering space,” he said. “It’s designed to be an active dog park with water features and other elements. It goes beyond the traditional stone dust and grass. We’re putting in a small water splash feature and misting stations with obstacles and equipment. It’s no different than a traditional playground, but it is centered on dogs. It’s not the first dog park, but it’s the first one we’re taking to this level with added amenities like a water feature and obstacle courses for dogs. It’s exciting.”

Then, just around the corner on Glendale Street, the old Hale School site that is now a passive park would be converted to passive and active. The paths and benches would be retained, but new playgrounds would be added throughout the existing park.

“We do plan on putting playgrounds throughout the park space, and we’re also potentially going to make space there for a community garden,” he said.

That project is at a budget of $1.5 million and all of the play areas would have a rubberized surface and would be ADA compliant.

Naturally, both parks would retain as many existing trees as possible, and new trees would be added along with new landscaping.

Sousa said they hope to bid out both projects as one tandem project in the spring.

“The game plan for these is to put it out to bid later this year an start construction late this fall with a completion in the spring of 2020,” he said.

Ideally, he said, they would hope that one construction firm would big on both parks in order to reduce some of the mobilization costs – especially since they are only about a block from one another.

This would be the first two park projects in central Everett designed by Bohler. However, the company is not new to Everett. They are responsible for the design of the new Encore-funded playground at 7-acre Park – a playground that will be completed by June.

•Another park project on the way this summer is Rossetti Park by Waters Avenue and the Northern Strand Bike Trail. Already, the roller hockey rink has been taken down there, with plans for it to be moved to the seven-acre Park area. Sousa said they have $1.1 million set aside to re-furbish the tennis courts and landscaping there.

Beyond that, and maybe more exciting, is the City is looking to locate shipping container retail opportunities on the area of the park nearest the bike path. That is an initiative championed by Mayor Carlo DeMaria earlier this year, and Sousa said they have taken his idea and hope to implement it at Rossetti.

“The electricity is already there for the tennis courts, and we’re looking to get all of that together,” he said. “That’s a very exciting aspect of this project.”

•Other Park projects in the queue:  Phase 2 of Meadows Park (behind St. Anthony’s Church) will go out to bid later this month. Appleton Street Park renovations will also be bid out this spring, and upgrades to Wehrner Park will also be bid out.

Sousa said it is a credit to the City Council working with Mayor Carlo DeMaria to fund a very active CIP for this year, a plan that helps to create new and improved park spaces every year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *