Monday, October 15, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 32

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on December 6th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 40 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 40

Santa Maria park improvement projects underway


Big changes are coming, or already have come, to Santa Maria’s Grogan, Armstrong, and Buena Vista parks.

Each park is somewhere in the renovation process as the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department works to achieve its longtime goal to replace or improve at least one park each year.

The playground at Grogan Park, which includes new slides and climbing structures, has officially reopened after nearly two months of construction, according to a city press release. The original playground was almost 20 years old, and Department Director Alex Posada said the fixtures were no longer compliant with accessibility standards.

The 6-acre park now includes a multi-purpose room, playground, walking paths, turf, and restrooms on site.

Renovations to the playground at Armstrong Park, which was damaged in a fire on March 27, are just beginning. Posada said the original playground at Armstrong cost roughly $270,000 to install but the park has been fenced off since the fire, which was ruled an act of vandalism. Posada said suspects were never identified.

“That park didn’t have a security camera installed in it,” Posada said. “We had never had any problems at that site, and it wasn’t something we thought we would need. But we may rethink that.”

Only some pieces of the original playground were completely burned, Posada said, and the Recreation and Parks Department was able to order custom-built replacement features for about $70,000. The parts and construction are being paid for by community donations and federal community developement block grant funds, according to the city.

The new equipment will serve all the same uses as the original structure, Posada said, and the park is scheduled to reopen by Christmas.

At Buena Vista Park, Santa Maria’s oldest park, a $1.3 million complete rebuilding project is underway.

“We just scraped the land clean,” Posada said.

The park’s coming features include basketball courts, a refurbished restroom, public gathering space for city and private events, and fresh turf. Buena Vista has a rich historical background—its existence was part of the reason Santa Maria incorporated in 1905—and Posada said ceramic tiles depicting the park’s significance will be on display there.

Posada said the city’s goal is to have construction on Buena Vista completed by February and grass growing by late spring.

Park renovations are funded by community development block grants, the park development fund, and the general fund, Posada said.

The Recreation and Parks Department is also making progress on an upcoming renovation project at Russell Park, Santa Maria’s second oldest park. Posada said the city hopes to have designs drafted and on display for community input by January.

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