Baker Park is a 14-acre park that includes many amenities such as a 34-foot high-elevated knoll overlook with space for art displays, a performance stage, splash pad, rubber surfaces, artificial turf, an event building and event lawn, marsh overlook, sunrise terrace, multiple playgrounds, a kayak launch, and family restrooms. The project is surrounded by an environmentally sensitive area of mangroves and native vegetation was used throughout with educational signage. The park itself is open to the public while the event building is rented out for various occasions. The event space includes attached restrooms and a catering kitchen. The overall design elevated this landfill space into a beautifully planted oasis for kids and adults to enjoy. The openness of the space allows for outdoor activities such as yoga or tai chi practices, kite flying, boating, kayaking as well as biking /running through the meandering trails and boardwalks Baker Park incorporated many aspects of design and engineering that are not typical for a standard park project. The key design element of the park is the elevated knoll surrounded by paths, landscaping, and brick paver terrace at the top. The knoll was built by combining the landfill materials along with important base materials. This saved the City money building the knoll, and was also a way to recycle the materials already onsite. Other areas of the park were carefully built with layers of both important stable base and manufactured fabric to prevent any future settlement issues. Besides Baker Park incorporating an existing landfill site and turning it to a functional park, the location of the Park was critical as a connection point for downtown Naples and the Gordon River. Multiple paths meander through the park for both pedestrians and bicycles to provide this unique connection to both the urban city and the mangrove forest along the Gordon River. The event building had to be redesigned as it was originally over budget, The field team proposed value management ideas to the design that helped lower the overall cost and still building it within the original project schedule. Also, there were many additions and changes to the park that were incorporated in the original schedule. The management and design team worked extremely well with the client, step by step, to produce the designers visions while returning more than $1.2M in savings to the City. The areas surrounding the project are environmentally sensitive areas, the team worked closely with DEP and ACOE to ensure minimum disruption to the mangroves while building the boardwalks. The project is located on a former recycling station and required specialized venting systems (cupolex) under the structures, as well as methane gas monitoring for the duration of construction. This project ran concurrently with the Naples Fire Station 1 project and the existing Fire Department occupied the front half of the park’s property requiring a multiple phased project. The park project could not be completed until the Naples Fire Station project was done and the Fire Department relocated to their new building.
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