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Work on a new Parks & Recreation Maintenance Building in Heritage Park is progressing quickly, as is the total renovation of the old courthouse building on the City Hall Campus, two projects that started earlier this year.
The new P&R Maintenance Building is located along Pardee Road, just north of the Heritage Park Petting Farm. It replaced two old, worn out buildings that were an eyesore, and will provide the P&R Maintenance staff with an anchor location within their busiest area, which is Heritage Park.
Mayor Rick Sollars and Parks & Recreation Director Guido Ulin created the strategy for the new facility, which will provide permanent storage for the department’s vehicles and cut down on wasted time and labor. Ulin’s strategy was to anchor the staff in a new building that provided for its specific needs, while cutting down on the time it took staff to move equipment and personnel from site to site across the community. Much of the staff’s regular workload is done in Heritage Park, so consolidating its operations at that location makes for better work flow.
The 11,271-square-foot building provides for large and small vehicle and trailer storage; specialized shop and storage space; tool crib; breakroom; restrooms, showers and locker space; and two small offices.
It will also blend into the general décor of the Petting Farm and Coan Lake Historical Area, which was an important factor to Mayor Sollars.
“This building makes sense in many different ways, but it was also extremely important to have it blend into the general feel of Heritage Park,” he said. “Through our work in NSA Architects, Engineers and Planners, we will accomplish that goal. The existing buildings that were razed – an old house and a failing barn – have not been of use to anyone for many years, and were just an eyesore.”
This facility fits into the Sollars Administration’s goals since taking office in November 2013. Over six years under the mayor’s direction, the City has reopened and vastly improved the Taylor Recreation Center and the Northwest Park Pool, Taylor’s only outdoor swimming facility. It has also renovated the previously dilapidated Alfred Sheridan Center into Downriver’s largest outdoor open air pavilion, and added a splash pad adjacent to it.
Both golf courses, Lakes of Taylor and Taylor Meadows, have received or are receiving major upgrades. In fact, a similar maintenance building was built for Taylor Meadows near Beech Daly. Flooring and interior furniture were replaced at the Taylor Sportsplex. Many improvements, from carpeting to parking to entry ways, have taken place or are underway on the City Hall Campus.
“We believe that we are using tax dollars and funding sources in the best way possible to improve and/or create these facilities,” Mayor Sollars said. “This is all about uses our resources in the best possibly manner, for the good of the community as a whole.”
The new Media Center in reality brings several different entities together. The anchor is a broadcast studio, including three continuous studio rooms, control room and prep area, all of which will be devoted to the visual arts. It will also include a reception area, offices, conference room, break room and editing stations. PEG (Public, Educational and Government) public access) fees related to cablecast can be used by municipalities to fund public, education or government access programming and channels, and provides the foundation for the renovations.
In addition, a large portion of the structure is dedicated to a new, larger Veterans Museum. The museum is currently housed in City Hall, but will be moved into the Media Center and will include five areas devoted to the five branches of the military, along with a large gathering area, lobby and storage space.
The back portion of the site will include 1,000-square-feet of secure storage, and another 3,100-square-feet of clerk’s office-related storage.
“In all of these cases, upgrades were needed,” Mayor Sollars said. “All of this fits with our goal of improving customer service and maintaining and improving our building stock with a focus on long-term improvements.”
New Parks & Recreation Maintenance Building, Heritage Park, along Pardee Road
New Media Center Building, City Hall Campus, Goddard Road