News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

Carlsbad opts to move forward on Alga Norte Park

CARLSBAD — In a few years, the citizens of Carlsbad will finally experience Alga Norte Community Park, which promises to brim with various amenities. The 33-acre park is flanked on the southern side of Poinsettia Lane and the eastern portion of Alicante Road.
Last month, the City Council voted on the Carlsbad Procurement Code which allows the process approval for both the design and build portion of the project. Now, city staff can move forward with a particular method of contracting.
Patrick McGarry, Civic Projects manager, presented three design/build process options. City Council voted on the first one.
“The council approved staff’s recommendation to utilize something called the Design/Build Method 1, which allows for selection based on qualifications and price and delivers the completion five months sooner than the conventional design-bid-build method,” McGarry said. “The method selected allows the city to select the bidder who provides the best value to the city, and not necessarily the lowest price bidder.”
Construction is slated for March 2012. The most recent estimated cost to build the approved park plan, McGarry said, is $40 million. He pointed out, however, that they are currently revising these numbers based on current market conditions.  
“The funding for this project comes from the city’s General Fund and the Public Facility Funds collected from residential development fees,” he said.
Plans for the park will boast an array of family-friendly facilities such as three lit ball fields; basketball courts; concession stand; playground and picnic areas; lit skate park; and dog park.
Chris Hazeltine, director of Parks of Recreation, believes the biggest draw will be the aquatic center. It will feature a 56-meter competition pool, 25-meter pool, warm water pool, children’s spray ground site, and much more.
Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall agrees with Hazeltine about the aquatic center being the greatest attraction.
“And it will give us another North County competitive pool,” Hall said.
Currently, there are a total of 13 parks in Carlsbad with a community classification.
And to this day, Hall has never heard someone comment to him that the city of Carlsbad has too many parks.
“This park has been a long time coming and every department in the city is working hard to get this thing built as soon as possible and we are looking forward to it being built as well,” said Hazeltine, adding how the need for this park was part of the city’s growth plan.
In fact, the park was part of a master plan. Hazeltine pointed out that some nearby homes were purchased because of the future park construction for the whole family to enjoy.
Still, there may be nearby residents who voice concerns about any additional noise the park may bring.
“We are good neighbors and we operate lots of parks in neighborhoods,” Hazeltine said.
Hall wants residents to be assured that the city will work with those however possible to try and mitigate the impact the new park may create.
To date, the projected grand opening for Alga Norte Community Park is scheduled for 2014.
“I can’t wait to get to the ribbon cutting,” Hall said.