Through April, Mackle Park will be a beehive of construction activity for park and recreation improvements.
Under the gun will be Bryan Milk, city Parks and Recreation director; Jim Hodgdon, park superintendent and the contractors hired to do the work.
A major reason is the city must have the improvements substantially completed by April 30 to receive a $200,000 grant through the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program.
Phase A funds for the improvement project were approved on Monday by the City Council. Phase B funding goes before the Council for approval on Jan. 19.
Phase B improvements include installation of new irrigation and landscaping along the lake pathway, renovation of one-third of the existing soccer field, including irrigation and new Bermuda turf, installation of underground water improvements along the soccer field and installation of 10 new benches and concrete pads along the lake pathway.
Phase A funding will replace the existing 8-foot wide lake asphalt pathway with a new 12-foot wide multi-use pathway; construction of new, low profile lighting around the pathways, replacement of the Chickee hut that was vandalized and a new fountain in the lake for circulation and amenity purposes.
Total cost of the two phases is $430,000, including design fees.
The Council approved $240,100 for Phase B and will be asked for another $138,000 for Phase A. The $200,000 grant will reduce the city’s overall cost to $230,000 if the project is substantially completed by April 30.
“Contractors who bid on either phase know clearly that they take on the project with the intention of making the deadline date,” Milk said. “We’ll be rockin’ and rollin’ for the next few months.”
Milk said the first work will be to get the four light poles, with six banks of lights on each, up around the soccer field, with one light also directed toward the Kids Cove and Tot Lot. Secondly, comes the pathway renovation which means taking out the 8-foot path and using a base rock blend to put in the 12-foot pathway.
“With the extra width we can see it become a bit more comfortable for pedestrian walking, jogging and skaters,” Milk said.
An 8-foot concrete walkway will go from Andalusia Terrace to the Parks & Recreation building.
“This should be much safer than having people walking on the driveway to access the park and recreation areas,” Milk said.
The soccer field renovation will include an area that is one-third of the soccer and football practice fields.
“The fields will run North-South where we expect the 3-on-3 soccer action will be conducted,” Milk said. “I envision having all the soccer community here to handle overflow from the Winterberry Park site.”
The new 20-foot-by-20-foot Chickee hut, with construction to match the style of the present buildings, will please the Marco Island Model Yacht Club that takes advantage of the hut along the waterway for its annual Mid Winter RC Laser Regatta.
“The project provides safer access and improvements for the betterment of our community,” Milk said.