One of the city’s largest and most-used parks will be closed for a year beginning this summer as city officials prepare for an extensive renovation of the facility.
The public is invited tonight to attend a neighborhood meeting on the renovation project, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the library.
The meeting will hopefully inform at least some of the neighbors in the area that the 16-acre park on Center Avenue that major changes will be taking place at the facility, including major grading and changes to the trails and large grass area. Those changes, said City Engineer Tim Tucker, will last at least a year, but in the end, the park will be more accessible to those with disabilities, and more user-friendly for adults and kids alike.
The meeting, Tucker said, isn’t to get neighborhood input on the design, but simply to inform residents of what the plans are for the park.
“To do a design based on a neighborhood design takes years,” Tucker said. “We just want to let people know what’s going on with the park, and that it’s going to be unavailable for a year.”
Among the changes planned, he said, are new walking trails with a par course, a set of interactive exercises aimed mostly at adults. The play area will have new rubber surfaces, but the equipment will remain, since it’s only a couple of years old.
The grass area will be graded and leveled out, so that it provides a more user-friendly place for informal play, Tucker said. New picnic areas will be created, the drainage improved, and the trails in the hillside open space expanded.
He said construction should begin in the summer, and will be complete by the next summer, weather permitting.
The project is the latest in a series of city-wide park and recreation renovations made possible by Measure H, a $30 million bond measure approved by voters in 2008. As a result of the bond, the opened in the summer, and the Martinez Library was renovated and reopened last year.
Another major project soon to be underway are renovations at . should be completed by the spring, Tucker said. That project came under fire from neighbors and others who were surprised by the amount of grading and the fact that Rankin was being completely redesigned.
The meeting tonight, Tucker said, is an attempt to let neighbors know early on what’s in store for Hidden Valley Park, and to circumvent the same kind of negative reaction.