Inclusive playground costs jump by $12K

GOSHEN — Construction costs for the city’s new fully inclusive Hay Park playground jumped by almost $12,000 Monday after it was discovered that a weaker-than-expected storm pipe that had previously been installed at the site would need to be replaced.

During their meeting Monday afternoon, Goshen Board of Public Works and Safety members approved a request by Dustin Sailor, director of public works for the city, for an $11,840 change order for the playground project related to the storm pipe’s discovery.

According to Sailor, the existing storm pipe running along the west side of Mintcrest Road, which borders Hay Park to the east, does not have adequate cover to prevent the weaker storm pipe from future failure, and thus a stronger pipe must be installed to replace it.

“When they began pulling away the soil, the storm sewer along Mintcrest Drive was only about a foot and a half deep, and it was HDPE (flexible plastic) pipe, which would not support the travel of traffic over it,” Sailor told the board. “So we need to replace that with concrete pipe that will support that travel of traffic.”

Sailor did note that the discovered HDPE piping is not currently allowed by the city in such construction projects, and was likely installed prior to his hiring with the Goshen Engineering Department.

The approved $11,840 change order increases the overall project cost for the playground from $492,582 to $504,422.

PLAYGROUND PLAN

According to Goshen Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tanya Heyde, planning for the new playground, known as the Kerry's Kids Inclusive Playground, began early last year with a committee made up of both residents and city staff.

Once formed, the group set out to identify and list all of the resources that would be needed in order to see the project completed. Designs were created, and Hay Park, located at 1414 W. Plymouth Ave. near Black Squirrel Golf Club, was identified as the best location for the new playground.

Designed to accommodate residents of all ages with mobility or developmental challenges and other disabilities, the new, fully inclusive playground will feature ramps, wider sidewalks and special equipment that will give users access to any part of the playground, including the highest points, Heyde explained. Work on the project began this spring.

As currently planned, the new playground will be situated in the northwest corner of the park, Heyde said, noting that approximately 20 additional parking spaces will be added to the site in order to better accommodate playground visitors.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business, board members:

• Approved the temporary closure of Jefferson Street between Third Street and River Race Drive starting today and lasting until the project is complete or Oct. 15, whichever comes first. The closure is needed in order to allow for the safe movement of equipment during construction of a new pervious city parking lot on the east side of River Race Drive, just south of Jefferson Street.

• Approved the temporary closure of a number of city streets on Sept. 8 for the 21st annual Riding to Remember Fallen Police, Firefighter and Veteran charity ride and memorial service.

• Approved the temporary closure of First Street from Wilden Avenue to Oakridge Avenue beginning today and concluding Saturday. The closure will allow for the continuation of Phase 2 of the ongoing First Street Reconstruction Project.

• Approved the resignation of Ryan Ule, a private with the Goshen Fire Department, effective Aug. 20.

• Approved a resolution allowing the Goshen Sewer Utility to credit a customer’s sewer account without requiring a hearing before the Goshen Board of Public Works and Safety.

• Approved the execution of an interlocal memorandum of understanding between the city of Goshen, the city of Elkhart and Elkhart County allowing for the submission of a joint application for funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Formula Program. Under the agreement, each entity will receive $21,037 for fiscal year 2019 to be used for criminal justice purposes.

• Approved the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) sub-recipient agreements for program year 2019, the funding of which will be used to fund access to medicine, early childhood education, daily nutrition programs, mental health services, senior transportation and a program to increase availability of primary healthcare. The 2019 recipients include: LaCasa Inc., $7,000; Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County-Goshen Club, $6,975; Center for Healing and Hope, $4,650; Council on Aging of Elkhart County, $4,650; Elkhart County Clubhouse, $2,090; Goshen Interfaith Hospitality Network, $10,450; Maple City Health Care Center Inc., $4,650; and Walnut Hill Early Childhood Center, $12,750.

John Kline can be reached at john.kline@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 315. Follow John on Twitter @jkline_TGN

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