The Norman Transcript

September 18, 2013

Legacy Park construction moving forward after weather delays

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Spring and early summer rains delayed Legacy Park construction, city officials reported Tuesday at the TIF Oversight Committee meeting.

“We’re about two months behind right now because of the spring weather,” Norman Parks Director Jud Foster said. “In terms of construction and the time table, it started in March and the original completion date was going to be in May 2014. That is probably now July or August 2014.”

The park entrance walls are up along 24th Avenue Northwest. The walls are up on the restroom and storage building, and construction on the west side of the pond wall is ongoing.

Infrastructure went in first.

“The construction started on the western side,” Foster said. “They started with installation of storm sewer lines. Those are now in place.”

Contractors next started the excavation of the pond.

“And then it started raining,” Foster said. “It rained, and it rained some more. We did a lot of pumping of water.”

The rain made working conditions difficult for quite a while, Foster said. Since the weather and the pond has dried out, construction crews have made “significant progress,” he said. “Most of the work to date is below ground.”

Concrete piers and footings for walls are in place or in progress. The berms on the west side of the park are “mostly in place today,” Foster said.

The piers go down about 18 feet to bedrock for arbor and the piers for the walkthrough go down about 30 feet. The lined pond will be 11 to 12 feet at the deepest part.

Once the park is completed, most of the maintenance will be contracted out. The city will continue to pay the electric bill and capital improvements, but a business improvement district will be formed to cover the continued maintenance cost, Finance Director Anthony Francisco said.

Meanwhile, more vendors are opening in the University North Park shopping district.

“We do have quite a bit of development going on,” City Planner Susan Connors said.

Groundwork just started on the Mathis Brothers’ Ashley Furniture store. Versona Accessories and a salon are coming to the North Park, Connors said.

Versona carries women’s jewelry, handbags, shoes and other accessories such as sunglasses, belts, scarves and hair decór. While stores are in Texas and Arkansas, as well as across the South and Midwest, the Norman store could be the first Oklahoma location.

Joy Hampton

366-3544

jhampton@normantranscript.com