April 2020 is the timeframe Buda officials aim for the majority of improvements at Buda City Park to be completed.
In the interim, Buda city staff is working with the Barr Company, the group contracted for improvements at the park, to “expedite their calendar” in order to have the park ready by next year’s Buda Wiener Dog races.
Greg Olmer, Buda Parks and Recreations director, said officials April 29 issued a notice to proceed to the Barr Company on constructing the main portions of the City Park project.
That process could be completed in two separate phases, which city officials are currently communicating with the Barr Company to possibly accomplish.
The first phase would consist of constructing amenities closest to San Antonio Street and Garison Road. Items that are slated to be built in that area include a new pavilion, playground equipment, restrooms and a proposed splash pad, which could accommodate the 2020 Buda Wiener Dog Races.
Part of the second phase consists of constructing a proposed amphitheater, as well as trails. A formal decision on a phased approach has not yet been finalized.
“With that phased approach, we’ll have it ready to go sooner,” Olmer said.
The majority of amenities in the park should be “ready to go” within an 11-month timeframe of the notice to proceed, weather permitting, Olmer said. City officials estimate the project to be 90 percent done by early March 2020, with the final “punch list” items completed by late April 2020. The deadline for the Barr Company to complete work on Buda City Park is April 2020.
However, David Marino, Buda communications manager, said while most of the amenities are expected to be done by next April, work on the amphitheater might not be completed by that time.
So far, Buda’s Public Works Department is roughly 95 percent complete on its portion of the City Park project, which consists of grading areas around the new amphitheater site. Olmer said Public Works should wrap up its project within the next week or two, allowing the Barr Company to lay down the concrete foundation.
“They (Public Works) have done an extensive amount of work and has saved the city money in the long term,” Olmer said.
Meanwhile, the Barr Company is “fully mobilized” at the City Park site and has been trenching for utility lines in recent weeks. Olmer said Barr Company officials are working with subcontractors to “line them up and get them in sequence” to arrive on site and complete work.
One key project recently completed was tearing down the existing playground equipment and restrooms at City Park. Olmer said Barr Company spent February and March demolishing those features, which was a substantial project.
Buda officials plan to repurpose four total swing bays at other local parks that don’t have playground amenties. The Buda Parks and Recreation Commission is expected to determine where those swings could go when they next meet in June.
“There’s quite a bit of infrastructure there and a lot of stuff to remove,” Olmer said.
Marino said while schedules are in place, there is always the possibility “things might happen earlier or later” and that there are things the city can’t predict.
A larger presence will be seen at City Park as the Barr Company moves ahead, Marino said.
“People must understand that we are working on the property and working to get everything completed,” Marino said.