Contract OK’d for South University Park

The Ann Arbor park advisory commission recommended approval of a $39,575 contract with Terra-Firma Landscape Inc. for improvements to South University Park. The vote was taken at PAC’s May 15, 2012 meeting.

The project is funded by a $50,000 donation from Leslie and Michael Morris. News of their gift had been announced nearly a year ago, at PAC’s June 21, 2011 meeting. At that meeting, Leslie Morris – a former Ward 2 city councilmember – had explained how the couple had played a role decades ago in creating the park at South University Avenue and Walnut. The dynamics of the neighborhood have changed, and the park is in need of an overhaul to serve the needs of current residents.

Terra-Firma, based in Ypsilanti Township, was the lowest of 10 bids received for the work. The budget includes a 10% construction contingency of $3,958 for a total project budget of $43,533. According to a staff memo, the work includes removing trees and shrubs that are overgrown and invasive; replacing the existing basketball court ,which is in poor shape and undersized; removing the bench and kiosk; and installing three new benches located on the park’s interior along a new concrete walk that bisects the park.

A picnic table, native flowering trees and shrubs will be added to the site. Because a large play area is located in the nearby Angell Elementary School, it’s felt that a play area in the park isn’t needed.

This brief was filed from the second-floor council chambers of city hall at 301 E. Huron, where PAC meetings are held. A more detailed report will follow: [link]