Renovation work at Terrace View Park in North Berkeley, originally scheduled to be completed by Sept. 15, has been pushed back until Oct. 30 due to construction complications. Located between Fairlawn Drive and Queens Road, the park has been closed off completely since April 27.
The work includes renovating the basketball courts on the lowest level of the park and adding access ramps for people with disabilities. In February, the city awarded the bid to McNabb Construction for $347,155. The renovation is funded by 2008’s bond Measure WW, which gave the city nearly $5 million to spend on parks over 10 years, as well as the Capital Improvement Fund.
But after further testing, a storm drain was discovered to be badly damaged and needed to be fixed first, according to an email to a resident from Scott Ferris, director of Parks, Water and Recreation, and confirmed by city spokesperson Matthai Chakko. The city awarded that bid to W. R. Forde Associates, and the storm drain portion of construction ended in June, delaying the rest of the renovation.
Some local residents have expressed frustration about the process and what they say has been a lack of communication about the project. A sign at the park’s east entrance originally stated construction would be completed by June 1. As the months went by, the completion date was crossed off with a marker, and the date was changed, most recently to Sept. 15.
Chakko said “communication should have been better” regarding the inaccurate sign. A new sign, replaced last week, now lists the completion date as Oct. 30.
This summer’s construction is only the latest part of a general overhaul of the park, which has been in the planning process for years. After three community workshops, the city completed a master plan in 2009 for all three levels of Terrace View. The executive summary of the plan described many of the park’s features as being “in poor condition, not useable or do not meet current codes and safety requirements.” Construction this year addresses phase one of three phases.
“What concerns me the most is how many years it took to get to this point,” said Ceara Brencic, who lives across the street from the park and took part in the community planning process. “How many more years are we going to deal with this?”
Jim Hurley, who lives up the hill from the park, said the slow pace of construction and the confusing sign “doesn’t inspire confidence” the entire park will be completed anytime soon. He said he voted last fall for 2014’s Measure F parks tax, in hopes that more of Berkeley’s parks, including all of Terrace View, would be upgraded.
“I was all for it, I could see that the parks needed help,” he said
Terrace View Park is only one of the city’s many parks and facilities that the city has limited funds to fix and maintain— even with the new influx of funds from Measure WW and Measure F.
Read more of Berkeleyside’s coverage of Berkeley parks.
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