Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 17-0328   
Type: Report to Board/Commission Status: Passed
Meeting Body: Parks and Recreation Commission
On agenda: 6/14/2017
Title: Approve the Concept of Constructing an Inclusive Playground at Fair Oaks Park and Authorize the City Manager to Execute an Agreement Between Magical Bridge Foundation and the City of Sunnyvale for Design and Construction Services Related to the Playground.
Attachments: 1. Reserved for Report to Council, 2. Location Map, 3. Aerial Map, 4. Play Structure Examples, 5. Draft Agreement

REPORT TO PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

SUBJECT

Title

Approve the Concept of Constructing an Inclusive Playground at Fair Oaks Park and Authorize the City Manager to Execute an Agreement Between Magical Bridge Foundation and the City of Sunnyvale for Design and Construction Services Related to the Playground.

 

Report

BACKGROUND

A Sunnyvale resident approached City Council on September 13, 2016, and the Parks and Recreation Commission on October 12, 2016, with a petition from 287 residents about the possibility of constructing an inclusive playground in Sunnyvale. The intent was for this playground to be similar to the Magical Bridge Playground located at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto. The Magical Bridge Playground is a play area designed to address the complex needs of the entire population living with and without disabilities (physical and cognitive). The U.S. Census of 2010 cites nearly 25.4 million families have at least one member with a disability. Both City Council and the Parks and Recreation Commission discussed this concept, and although no formal action was taken, expressed general support for exploring it.

 

Staff visited the current all-inclusive playground in Palo Alto, and was impressed with the variety of improvements, the level of activity, and the opportunity to provide for an underserved population. It was determined that this could be a significant asset to the Sunnyvale park system, and staff moved forward with exploring an opportunity near-term location within Sunnyvale. It was anticipated that the inclusive playground would require at least one acre so staff examined future capital projects that involved park renovations. Fair Oaks Park was selected due to location within the City (Location Map - Attachment 2), renovation schedule, and acreage. An update was provided to the City Council as part of the November 14, 2016 City Manager Bi-Weekly Report with the following information:

 

Parks to Consider All-Inclusive Playground - As part of the upcoming capital budget cycle, the City is proposing to add an all-inclusive playground to the Fair Oaks Park Renovation and Enhancement Project. Costs for these types of facilities range in the millions of dollars. The all-inclusive playground is meant to serve all members of a community with or without special needs. The design will take into account members of the community who may deal with issues such as autism, being cognitively challenged, visually and hearing impaired and physically limited. The Fair Oaks Park Renovation and Enhancement project is scheduled to begin the scoping phase in 2017.

 

Fair Oaks Park is a 14.7-acre site (Aerial Map - Attachment 3), centrally located within the City, and is currently scheduled for a major renovation in 2018 with the goal of ensuring sustainability for the future by enhancing recreational usability and increasing attractiveness. The scope will be finalized through a community process and could include: artificial fields, lighting system with energy efficient fixtures, playgrounds, fixtures, and landscaped areas.

 

The City Council is scheduled to consider this item on July, 11, 2017.

 

EXISTING POLICY

General Plan, Chapter 3, Land Use and Transportation-Open Space, Goal LT-8
Adequate and Balanced Open Space - Provide and maintain adequate and balanced open space and recreation facilities for the benefit of maintaining a healthy community based on community needs and the ability of the City to finance, construct, maintain and operate these facilities now and in the future.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

The Agreement is for the design phase and construction support services and is not a project which has the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") Guidelines section 15061(b)(3). The Consultant for the Fair Oaks Park Renovation and Enhancement Project will perform the CEQA review for the entire renovation project including the Magical Bridge Playground.

 

DISCUSSION

Magical Bridge Foundation has a unique combination of expertise in the field of inclusive playgrounds, a commitment to fundraise money towards design and construction, and have demonstrated the ability to facilitate a comprehensive outreach campaign to raise funds and awareness for the project. The Magical Bridge Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which seeks to bring inclusive playgrounds to communities around the country. The Magical Bridge Foundation first inclusive playground was constructed in 2015 at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto.  

 

The Magical Bridge Playground design considers the needs of Sunnyvale’s diverse population by addressing issues such as the growing number of people with autism, visually and hearing impaired, physically limited, and the aging community. The playground will incorporate features such as seamless ground surfacing for easy navigation; accessible equipment with manageable transfer points to get on and off; a variety of swings for those lacking upper body strength; slides with transition decks for wheelchair users; a “cozy cocoon” which offers a place to rest, listen and observe; a ground carousel which can accommodate two wheelchairs, a playhouse accessible to all; and a tot zone for children age one to four years old (Play structure examples - Attachment 4).

The Magical Bridge Playground will be designed in parallel with the Fair Oaks Park Renovation and Enhancement project. Staff will work with the Magical Bridge design team and the Fair Oaks Park Renovation consultant to incorporate the Magical Bridge playground design into the overall renovation project design. Once the Magical Bridge Playground design is incorporated into the overall design, the City will solicit bids for construction of the entire project as a whole. The City will oversee the construction and will be responsible for bringing the park renovation to fruition, including the Magical Bridge Playground.

The overall cost of the playground, including design and construction, is estimated to be approximately $4,100,000 with $1,800,000 of the cost to be paid by the City. This includes a total of approximately $550,000 in milestone payments to Magical Bridge Foundation (MBF) which will cover costs such as design, community engagement and fundraising. The other portion will be raised by the MBF via donations through a combination of community foundations, family foundations, grants, private and corporate donors. The MBF, along with guidance from the City, has committed to a robust community outreach effort to raise awareness and funding for the project.

Other key elements of the agreement (Draft Agreement - Attachment 5) include:

                     MBF responsible for preparing complete bid ready plans and technical specifications for the Magical Bridge Playground portion of the park renovation.

                     MBF will accept and hold donations made towards the Project, including donations solicited by the City. Any excess funds beyond the project costs will be transferred to the City. 

                     MBF will provide a communications strategy in conjunction with the City. This will include a public relations and marketing plan, as well as a TV, print media and social media campaign to engage and educate the public in relation to the project and fundraising efforts.

                     MBF, prior to the opening event, will recruit and train no fewer than five volunteers to conduct educational programming about inclusive play at the Playground.

                     The City will have primary responsibility for construction management and inspection.

                     The City will facilitate meetings and discussions between MBF and various stakeholders to help build community support for the playground.

                     City will maintain the playground in good order, condition and repair for the useful life of the Playground (solely determined by the City and a minimum of 10 years).

The Magical Bridge Playground in Sunnyvale would be the first in the South Bay. A second Magical Bridge Playground will begin construction in 2017 in Redwood City at Red Morton Park. There are other inclusive playgrounds such as the Rotary Playground in San Jose and the Morgan Hill Inclusive Playground Project that is in the planning stage. This all-inclusive playground at Fair Oaks Park would serve many populations that currently are not able to use park amenities. Upon completion of the playground, operating and maintenance costs would be part of the Parks and Open Space operating budget.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

The Magical Bridge playground will be part of a larger capital project at Fair Oaks Park Renovation and Enhancement project which is included in the FY 2017/18 Recommended Budget. The specific cost of the Magical Bridge Playground is $4.1 million of which the City is providing $1,800,000. The remainder of the money will be provided by Magical Bridge Foundation through a combination of donations and potential County of Santa Clara grant funds. Donations may come from individuals, foundations, businesses and other organizations.

 

PUBLIC CONTACT

Public contact was made through posting of the Parks and Recreation Commission agenda on the City’s official-notice bulletin board, on the City’s website, and the availability of the agenda and report in the Office of the City Clerk.

 

ALTERNATIVES

Recommend to City Council:

1. Approve the Concept of Constructing an Inclusive Playground at Fair Oaks Park.

2. Do Not Approve the Concept of Constructing an Inclusive Playground at Fair Oaks Park.

3. Authorize the City Manager to Execute an Agreement Between Magical Bridge Foundation and the City of Sunnyvale for Design and Construction Services Related to the Playground.

4. Do Not Authorize the City Manager to Execute an Agreement Between Magical Bridge Foundation and the City of Sunnyvale for Design and Construction Services Related to the Playground. 

5. Direct Staff to Explore Other Options Recommended by Council.

 

RECOMMENDATION

Recommendation

Recommend to City Council Alternatives 1 and 3: 1) Approve the Concept of Constructing an Inclusive Playground at Fair Oaks Park; 3) Authorize the City Manager to Execute an Agreement Between the Magical Bridge Foundation and the City of Sunnyvale for Design and Construction Services Related to the Playground.

 

Staff recommends approval of the concept of constructing an inclusive playground at Fair Oaks Park to better serve all residents of Sunnyvale. An all abilities playground would provide inclusive play opportunities for children and adults of all ages and abilities. All-inclusive playgrounds promote the healthy development of physical, cognitive and sensory abilities. An all-inclusive playground would add play opportunities to residents that the current Sunnyvale playground inventory does not provide and be a unique community asset.

 

Staff recommends authorizing the City Manager to execute an agreement between the Magical Bridge Foundation and the City of Sunnyvale for design and construction services related to the playground. The Magical Bridge Foundation has constructed a similar playground in Palo Alto and has a proven record of being able to raise donations for funding.

 

Staff

Prepared by: Jim Stark, Parks Superintendent

Reviewed by: Manuel Pineda, Director, Public Works

Reviewed by: Timothy J. Kirby, Director, Finance

Reviewed by: Kent Steffens, Assistant City Manager

Approved by: Deanna J. Santana, City Manager

 

ATTACHMENTS

1. Reserved for Report to Council

2. Location Map

3. Aerial Map of Fair Oaks Park

4. Play Structure Examples

5. Draft Agreement