Grant Howald Park Rehabilitation Project
- Project Location:
3000 Fifth Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92625
- Project Description:
Grant Howald Park is a 3.1 acre park that has been serving the community of Newport Beach since 1954. It’s a popular community destination with a large lighted multi-purpose sports field, restroom building, two tennis courts, basketball court, two playground areas and Community Center (known as the Community Youth Center or CYC). The park is generally bounded by Goldenrod Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Marguerite and Harbor View Elementary School. Originally developed by the Youth Center Board of Directors, it was conveyed to the City of Newport Beach in 1972. The Grant Howald Park Rehabilitation Project enhances the existing park site through considerable improvements based on community, Ad Hoc committee, City Public Works Department, Parks Beaches and Recreation, and City Council input. The project includes the redevelopment of a new water saving synthetic turf multipurpose sports field, team staging area, improved parking lots and ADA access, the installation of sidewalk along the frontage of the park, landscape buffer and undergrounding of above ground utilities, new playground equipment with connected inclusive and accessible play opportunities, and new park benches, drinking fountains, bike racks, trash receptacles, and shade structures. The thematic playground provides families with a renewed sense of pride and ownership while maintaining the historic Corona Del Mar neighborhood charm. Today, the park hosts events such as Movies in the Park, after-school and summer programs, and activities that promote a strong sense of community throughout the neighborhood.
- Project Justification:
The Grant Howald Park Rehabilitation Project concentrates on upgrading the existing playgrounds, sports field and Fifth Avenue streetscape. The project combines two small play areas into one integrated and inclusive play space with 2-5 and 5-12 play equipment. The new playground footprint remains nestled under large existing trees, all of which were preserved during design and construction. The space also features custom tile artwork and educational play panels that display local sea creatures and marine ecological systems unique to Newport Beach. Connectivity throughout the site is accomplished via a roller slide play feature and accessible ramps and walkways that enable park users to transition from the upper to the lower areas. Seat walls, benches and shade structures provide space for families to participate directly adjacent to the playground. The project converts a water intensive natural grass field to a new multi-purpose synthetic turf field and drainage system which enables year-round programming for multiple sports users. Upgraded LED field sport and security lighting enhances nighttime sport use while improving neighborhood light cut off conditions. Ball containment fencing and netting provides additional security for residents adjacent to the park. The park frontage street scape rehabilitation includes undergrounding of the existing overhead utilities and removal of utility poles, a new landscape buffer and improved parking lot and park access connecting to a new team staging plaza area. The project also completes a 550-foot portion of missing sidewalk that runs along the frontage of the park and connects the nearby elementary school to the Community Youth Center.
- Special Circumstances:
During the design phase, the project team worked closely with a Parks, Beaches and Recreation ad hoc committee and utilized their intimate knowledge of the community’s wants and needs for the overall design of the park. The project team conducted community outreach during design to further understand the community’s expectations. During the construction phases, the Public Works project design team worked closely with various City departments (Recreation & Senior Services, Parks, and Utilities), Southern California Edison, AT&T and the Newport-Mesa School District.
The biggest obstacles the project team faced included delays due to utilities undergrounding scheduling, COVID-19, and coordinating with the adjacent elementary school schedules. The project team overcame utility scheduling delays by redesigning areas to enable construction activities to proceed as scheduled. The team’s good working relationship with the contractor afforded the project flexibility of having crews work around the affected areas. Due to school’s COVID-19 scheduling, the utilities crews were unable to work during normal working hours, the undergrounding street trenching was limited to non-student days and holidays in order to minimize the disruption to school traffic.
- Project Attachments:
In addition to rejuvenating a community gem, the Grant Howald Park Rehabilitation Project has other benefits that most park visitors may not realize. The project increased the playground square footage by approximately 1,500 SF while maintaining the natural shade of the existing trees. The synthetic turf conversion results in annual maintenance savings of over $90,000 and increases field usability by 4-months to allow for year-round play. Finally, the new synthetic turf field will have water savings of .62 gallons per SF/week or 5,039,112 gallons per year.
- Award Citation::
The Grant Howald Park Rehabilitation Project reconstructs an existing 3.1 acre park that has been serving the community of Newport Beach since 1954. The project includes the development of a new water saving synthetic turf sports field, new pedestrian centered streetscape and new playgrounds with inclusive and accessible play opportunities.
- Suggested Award Summary:
The Grant Howald Park Rehabilitation Project reconstructs an existing 3.1 acre park that has been serving the community of Newport Beach since 1954. This project includes considerable improvements based on community, Ad Hoc committee, City Public Works Department, Parks Beaches and Recreation, and City Council input. The project includes the development of a new water saving synthetic turf multipurpose sports field, team staging area, improved parking lots and ADA access, new pedestrian centered streetscape with walkway, landscape buffer and undergrounding of above ground utilities, new playgrounds with connected inclusive and accessible play opportunities, and new park benches, drinking fountains, bike racks, trash receptacles, and shade structures. The thematic playground provides families with a renewed sense of pride and ownership while maintaining the historic Corona Del Mar neighborhood charm.