The renovation is a milestone in the city’s ongoing redevelopment and beautification efforts in the San Fernando corridor, official said, and has attracted extensive neighborhood support in an area where residents have had to put up with ongoing construction on multiple public infrastructure projects.
The project is expected to come in below its $2.9-million budget, said Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director George Chapjian.
“If it’s anything like it’s been going, it could be lower than that,” he said.
If the plan’s approved, the bidding process should begin later this summer in time for construction in the fall.
The council gave approval to the preliminary plan in March, but minor refinements have since been made to the community building’s design, Chapjian said. The building will be designed to look like an old-fashioned airport hangar to be reflective of the area during the 1920s when it hosted the Glendale Grand Central Airport.
“It hearkens to that era,” he said.
Joanne Hedge, president of the Glendale Rancho Homeowners Assn., which is just west of the park, described the renovation as “long overdue.”
“Frankly, a lot of the parks in south and central Glendale have been getting lots of attention,” she said. “This one almost slipped through the cracks.”
Hedge attended a handful of community input meetings, where she said the renovation project was very well-received. Community concerns, such as graffiti and gang activity, were addressed in the renovation design through fencing to close off the park at night.
The park is especially important to families who live in small single-family homes and apartments in the area that don’t have a lot of available open space, Hedge said.
“It means a lot to those kids and the moms with toddlers,” she said. “It’s a real city park.”
The park is currently closed to accommodate the Flower Street widening, said the renovation’s project manager Shahen Begoumian. Construction on the park should begin in September and be completed in spring 2010.
“I’m just sorry it has to be shut down so long,” Hedge said. “It’s going to be a long summer without it.”
MELANIE HICKEN covers City Hall. She may be reached at (818) 637-3235 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.