It’s a legitimate question: Why throw a Grand Opening Celebration for a park that isn’t actually officially open?
The City of Snoqualmie is getting that question quite a bit when it comes to their newest, and one of their largest parks, Jeanne Hansen Community Park, located on Jacobia Street, near I-90 on one of the highest peaks of Snoqualmie Ridge. The fences remain up. Parts of the park are still not done – a victim of construction delays.
Grand Opening for a Park not yet Open
Via a press release, the city stated the park was originally scheduled to be done in August 2014. In July, it certainly looked like things were on schedule. A grand opening celebration date was picked. The city felt by picking a September 6th date, even if the park was delayed by a few days, they were still safe. They didn’t anticipate a two-month delay.
According to the press release, “By the time city staff learned that park construction would still be underway on September 6, event planning was almost finalized. The company who supplied the tents, bouncy houses, and other equipment was already committed to that day and was unable to reschedule until later in the fall due to its other events.”
They were also worried about rain if they rescheduled the celebration. “Dignitaries and speakers” had also already committed to speaking at the event honoring former Mayor Jeanne Hansen and many had made adjustments to their schedules in order to attend. Rescheduling meant some of them might not be able to be part of the event.
Jeanne Hansen Park Delays
As part of Snoqualmie Ridge development agreements, home builder Pulte is actually paying to construct Jeanne Hansen Park. Once finished and a series of extensive check lists are complete, the City of Snoqualmie will accept the park from Pulte. At that point, the city is then financially responsible for maintaining the park.
In a nutshell, the City of Snoqualmie doesn’t accept parks from the home builders who construct them until everything in the park is perfect.
The city stated, “All park features – a long checklist – must be 100% addressed before the city takes full ownership of the facility. Accepting the park without 100% completion would put the city at risk for inadequate construction and the public at risk for injury.”
So until all those features at Jeanne Hansen Park are complete, perfect and safe, city officials say it “is very important for residents to not go beyond the construction fencing.”
Some Park features still under construction:
- Not all asphalt has been laid, per plan requirements.
- Some sidewalks throughout the park have cracked and are being replaced.
- Along the north side of the lower synthetic field, there are slide slope issues that could cause tens of thousands of dollars in field damage.
- The sod field hasn’t completely grown in. Although the City prefers to wait for 100% completion, there is a possibility of accepting the two synthetic fields and the playground prior to the third field completion.
- The rain garden is not complete. The developer had to excavate dirt in excess of nine feet to ensure the performance requirement for rain garden standards are met.
Frustration, New Possible Opening Date
City staff are frustrated at the “unexpected and unacceptable contractor delays.” According to their press release, “Administration and staff are working very hard to have the contractor expedite completion, but has not had success in influencing contractor performance.”
The expected opening date for Jeanne Hansen Park has now been postponed until mid-November, but no specific date can be guaranteed at this time.