On Friday, the Erie Parks and Recreation Department held a celebration with members of the Erie Board of Trustees, town staff, the Department of Local Affairs, and project partners to break ground on the last phase of Erie Community Park.
An expansion of 12 acres worth $7.2 million will include numerous amenities such as two basketball courts, a playground themed around energy awareness, a sledding hill, an asphalt bike pump track, and more. The final phase of construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and be completed by the fall.
“This is a very good day for all of our staff and also for the whole town of in Erie, CO
,” said Community Partnership and Special Projects Manager Luke Bolinger. “We have been working on this project for many years.” We finally produced the master plan last year, our construction documents are underway, and we have ECI from the Site Construction Management here and we’re ready to kick things off now”, he added.
According to Bollinger, the Erie Community Park originally was designed for a five-acre expansion and was completed in 2017. As a result of the abandonment of an oil and gas operation on an adjacent parcel, the park was able to expand to 12 acres. It was ECI was chosen as the general contractor for this project.
Staff worked on the master plan redesign in 2018 and well into 2019, Bolinger wrote. Community engagement was conducted, plans were displayed at an elementary school, and a new plan was presented to the Board of Trustees. The moment it was approved by the board, staff began to work on construction documents.
Patrick Hammer, director of Parks and Recreation, said during the ceremony, “Our vision has always been that this is the center of parks and recreation.” “We have lots of exciting plans for future development of the Erie
Community Park, and we want this to be the gathering place for the community”, he explained.
A grant application for park construction in 2019 was submitted by Bolinger’s office and was approved for $750,000 through the Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund administered by the Department of Local Affairs. Furthermore, staff applied for and were awarded $350,000 from Great Outdoors Colorado’s Local Park and Outdoor Recreation program in 2019.
Bolinger also said that several departments, including engineering, planning and development, public works, and of course parks, were involved in developing construction documents. “We are thankful for having such outstanding leaders and staff across all of these departments.”
Furthermore, Hammer said during the ceremony that although it’s been a tough year, he is impressed by the number of parks and open space projects that have sprung up since the pandemic.
In his remarks during the ceremony, Mayor Pro Tem Adam Haid said, “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work, a lot of thought, and a lot of fantastic community engagement.” “I had no words but thank you, and I appreciate what the town is doing, and I cannot tell you how excited I am for this.”.