As the New Year begins, the future of the Northside Park and Soccer Fields Project (NSPSF) is looking bright. At the end of December, NSPSF Campaign Chairperson Jeff Dickerson received two very exciting pieces of information that will help facilitate building Phase 2 of the NSPSF Project.
The first part of the great news is that Mountain Sky Guest Ranch (MSGR) has offered a 1 to 1 matching grant of up to $100,000. The value of cash donations (not pledges) received during fundraising for Phase 2 will now be worth twice as much with this very generous matching grant. Tawnya Rupe, Director of the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, explained, “We are very pleased to continue our financial support of the development of this beautiful new park. We are also encouraged by the ability of this facility to help with Livingston’s economic development in hosting events such as soccer tournaments”.
The lower-than-expected cost estimate for Phase 2 is the second part of great news for this new city park. New Phase 2 estimates of $400,000 – $450,000 are significantly less than the original estimate of $650,000 done in 2007. There are several reasons for the cost difference. First, some of the earthwork that occurred in Phase 1 saves costs in Phase 2. Second, the design of the park based on an “as-built” design for Phase 1 has allowed for the removal of a costly retainer wall. Finally, the original estimate for Phase 2 was created in 2007. Using the actual costs of Phase 1 construction, overall construction is expected to cost 15-20% less than the original 2007 estimate.
These two pieces of news together mean that the NSPSF Project needs to raise $150,000 – $200,000 by February 1st to allow the bid advertising to go out for summer 2011 construction. Phase 2 would then be open for public use 12 months after seeding to properly allow the turf to grow in. Once Phase 2 is open for public use, the Livingston Youth Soccer Association (LYSA) will be able to host soccer tournaments here in Livingston, and the park will be available for major community events that will bring people into Livingston. Phase 1 of the park, which was completed this past fall, already includes over 7.5 acres of new green space and grass, the south parking lot, a cement pathway along the west side, over 45 trees, picnic tables, park benches and allowance for the placement of two soccer fields. Phase 2 will add more acres of park and green space development, trees, picnic tables and benches, a pathway that traverses the park, room for a third soccer field, the west parking lot and site preparation for a support building and east parking lot. All of this will complete the goal for converting the 18 acres of unused city land into public park space.
Area residents are encouraged to visit the park and see for themselves what a wonderful asset NSPSF is to the entire Livingston community. While the pathway is open for use, the grass areas (although now snow-covered) are at a critical growth stage and people are asked to refrain from walking on the grass until the park officially opens in August 2011. The park is easily accessible from the new parking lot at the corner of North 14th and Summit Avenue.
The NSPSF Project is a collaborative effort between the City of Livingston, LYSA, and the Livingston School District. In August 2011 and after the Grand Opening, Phase 1 will be accessible to everyone. For more information about the NSPSF Project visit www.livingstonyouthsoccer.org or contact Jeff Dickerson at (406) 220-3011 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the park progress on Facebook at www.facebook.com/northsideparkandsoccerfields