Plans outline construction of tables, performance space, bike racks
Last June, the Davis City Council approved a conceptual design for a new oak tree stage and expanded picnic area in Central Park, after an arsonist’s fire burned down the old Oak Tree Deck in March 2014. However, construction of the new deck has been delayed due to requests from the City Council.
“Staff have been working with the design consultant on these revisions [for the project], thus the construction is not anticipated to begin until early next year after the city has solicited bids and awarded the construction contract,” said Christine Helweg, Parks & Community Services superintendent, in an email interview.
The plan presented to the city council was designed by Melton Design Group, Landscape Architecture firm and titled “The Watermelon Patch.”
According to Helweg, the design will not be similar to the old deck that was burned down, but the new design will still be centered around the oak tree. The new plan features expanded seating and a picnic area around the tree.
“People will now have a space to actually sit and enjoy the performances [in Central Park],” said Randii MacNear, executive director of Davis Farmers Market.
According to MacNear, since the area has been vacant, people have not had enough space to sit and enjoy meals during farmers market hours.
“It’s really important for customers to sit,” MacNear said. “[It provides] a connection to the rest of the park.”
Davis resident Amy Tran is in favor of the new plan for the stage.
“I think the new additions will really complement events like Picnic in the Park and the farmers market,” Tran said.
Tran also expressed concern about how neighbors would react to noise from the events that take place on the stage.
“With concerts, picnics and more seating, even more people will be around making noise,” Tran said.
More bicycle parking, benches, and concrete picnic tables will be added, to accommodate the larger crowds.
The total construction costs are estimated to be $124,000. According to the staff report, insurance provided just under $50,000 from the destruction of the old deck, of which $20,000 are left after “clean-up, design development and construction document consultant fees.” This leaves $30,000 of insurance funds for construction.
The additional $94,000 needed in order to complete the project will be taken from the Citywide Irrigation Improvement Funds and from the Parks Capital Outlay.
The approved plan has been endorsed by the Davis Farmers Market and has the approval of many community members.
“[The new concept plan] will further improve the farmers market,” MacNear said. “It will integrate both parts of the market. We’re excited and anxious.”
Written By: CARLA ARANGO