Buda City Park upgrade coming in 2018

Spring 2018 is the timeframe when officials anticipate construction could begin on upgrades to Buda City Park.

But concerns over potential high costs to make those upgrades forced Design Workshop, the company tasked with designing City Park, to make necessary changes before the final estimates come in.

Claire Hempel, a representative with Design Workshop, said Nov. 15 one of the major concerns came from Buda Parks and Recreations Commissioners over the high cost estimate for the park. Commissioners sought water feature reductions to be made at a proposed splash pad.

Several changes were made, which included removing water features and stonework on the splash pad, as well as a few other alterations, Hempel said.

However, Hempel said a final cost estimate for the City Park project would not be ready until the construction documents are complete in late November or early December.

“That’s when we’ll be taking a hard look at the cost and determining what cuts we can make,” Hempel said.

Hempel also addressed cost concerns over bathrooms, the number of stalls for the bathrooms and the planting of foliage around the park.

Hempel said the design for the restrooms consists of six stalls and the cost moving forward into construction documents would be $561,937.

Hempel said Design Workshop stripped down the planting requirements as low as they felt comfortable with a park project. They saved most of the funds necessary for large shade trees to be placed near the playgrounds and walkways.

“What we’ll move forward with in construction documents is pretty bare bones,” Hempel said.

She continued by saying that Design Workshop was “being smart about their planting dollars” and said they would reduce the number of shrubs and plants going into ground beds and instead place them further apart to reduce the cost.

Hempel said the entire park would be getting a face-lift and that it would be “nice to dress up the old pavilion” as well.

When asked if the pavilion would be repainted, Hempel said it could be added as an alternate project for the contractor if there were any excess funds.

Commissioner Beth Martinez inquired when crews would start to break ground at City Park. She cited progress of both the new city hall building and new public safety building as examples for the need to show Buda residents some movement on the park.

Hempel said the city is waiting on the “green light from council on the construction documents.”

Following a decision by council, the project would take six weeks to send out for bid.

Work should begin in either April or May 2018 and would take approximately ten months to complete, Hempel said.

The Buda City Council will take up the construction documents Nov. 21.

Hempel assured commission members that the next time they would see Design Workshop would be when the have the construction documents and an updated cost estimate to present.

“We’re within striking distance,” Hempel said.

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