KENTWOOD, MI – City Commission approved a pair of measures on Tuesday, Feb. 5, that will bring a covered entryway to the Activities Center at Veterans Park and a new multi-use facility to Old Farm Park, where a restroom was torn down last year due to structural issues.
The commission approved up to $295,600 for work at the Kentwood Activities Center, 355 48th St. SE, which will include a new entrance portico, digital entrance sign and new windows on the front of the existing building. Money for the project will come from the property and building fund.
The Activities Center underwent renovations to its programming areas last year.
Val Romeo, Kentwood Parks and Recreation director, said the decision to add an entrance portico to the Activities Center was made largely due to the senior population that visits the building for programs.
“The new structure will allow the walkway to serve as a safer landing zone for senior citizens. By protecting the entrance from rain and snow, the portico allows patrons to come and go without the worry of navigating slippery pavement,” Romeo said.
The new digital entrance sign approved as part of the package will improve public awareness of events and allow the staff to change messages quickly, Romeo said. Replacing the original windows on the building is designed to improve energy efficiency.
The new multi-use building at Old Farm Park, 2350 Embro Drive SE, will have four family-style restrooms instead of separate facilities for men and women, city officials said. It also will include storage space and room for programming.
Other items on the list of improvements at Old Farm Park include an improved central gathering space, new water main to serve the building, infrastructure for a potential future splash pad, trail replacement, landscaping, and installation of irrigation.
The cost of the improvements, up to $514,800, will come from 2019 and 2020 parks millage funds.
The city staff sought a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant for the Old Farm Park improvements last year, but the application was unsuccessful, city officials said. The 2019 Parks Fund budget includes $469,200 for the project. The commission will discuss the need for a budget amendment at a later date, and any remaining costs will be included in the fiscal year 2020 budget, according to city documents.
Both projects are expected to begin March 1, with the Veterans Park project slated for completion in June, and the Old Farm Park project to wrap up in August.
The city will contract with Denny’s Excavating, which offered the low bid of $468,000, for the Old Farm Park work. The Veterans Park work will be completed by Orion Construction, which entered the low bid of $268,709. An additional 10-percent contingency was approved for both projects.