Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Naranja Park Construction Activity To Ramp Up

Construction activity at Naranja Park will increase during calendar 2023
According to Oro Valley Public Works Director Paul Keesler, reporting to the Oro Valley Town Council on January 4, grading and preparation work on Naranja Park is nearly done. Town staff invested late November and December in creating a redesigned concept of the park. They were instructed to do so by town council because the cost of building the park was far exceeding the funding that was available.

Park design includes all initially envisioned amenities... some deferred to "pay as you go"
The latest design is shown in the panel below right. The design includes two new fields, a splash pad, and a “skate track/pump track.” It also includes other structures that the town will build on a “pay as you go” basis. These are two added fields (fields 7 and 8), basketball courts, pickleball courts, and two restrooms. In addition, the latest design does not include an originally proposed enclosed operations and maintenance center.

One major design change
There is one major change from the previous park design. The “skate park/pump track”will be located on the northern portion of the park. The dog park will remain where it is now. The council had agreed  upon this change in locations because it reduced the total cost of the Naranja Park project.

Some design work yet to be done
The “skate park/pump track” has yet to be designed. The splash pad has yet to be conceptualized. Council had  instructed staff to scale back the original design for these two amenities because of their proposed cost.

"Pump Track/Skate Track" liability is non an issue
According to Council Member Solomon, speaking at the January 4 council meeting, some residents have raised a concern of potential liability to the town of having a “skate park/pump track.” 

The town outside attorney informed the council that there is a State statute (A.R.S. sec 33-1551) that holds harmless from liability the owner of a property that is used for recreation as long as it can be demonstrated the owner did not engage in “...willful, malicious or grossly negligent conduct that was a direct cause of the injury to the recreational user.” The statute also states that “a recreational user or educational user accepts the risks created by the user's activities and shall exercise reasonable care in those activities.” long as the town exercises diligence in designing, constructing and maintaining the track
Town Parks and Recreation Department Director Diaz-Trahan stated at the January 4 meeting that the town will fulfill its responsibilities in this regard by engaging a professional designer and making sure that the track is built by a professional. Once constructed, the town plans to maintain the track to design standards, provide ample “at-risk” notice, and secure the area with fencing. According to Diaz-Trahan, there are risks in everything recreational but these steps should mitigate the risk.
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