Fences soon will be going up around Fountain Park so greener grass can come up later.
A massive overhaul begins this week on the 33-acre recreation area surrounding Fountain Hills’ namesake landmark. Among the improvements will be a new irrigation system, landscaping, 18 disc golf “holes” and a sidewalk along the western lakefront.
The cost could reach almost $1.4 million, with the work is expected to be complete by mid-October.
In the meantime, portions of the park will be barricaded while Tempe-based Valley Rain Construction does its job. The company is bringing two crews of nine workers each, one for irrigation and the other for concrete, to the task.
The closures will take place in three phases: the eastern third by the parking lot comes first, then the northern third and the southern third near Splash Park is last.
“A lot will be happening over this summer,” town recreation supervisor Bryan Hughes told the Town Council on Thursday night. “Fortunately, it’s the best time to do this because it’s the slowest (the park) will be during the year.”
Added Brett Fowler, project manager for Valley Rain, “We’ll do the best we can to keep it open to the public.”
By far the biggest piece of the reconstruction will be the irrigation system.
Fountain Park is 37 years old, and the current watering arrangement reflects the age. There were improvements made over the years, but doing so in bits and pieces has built over time something of a Frankenstein’s monster.
“(Fountain Hills) has done a great job keeping this thing together, but it’s just so old,” Fowler said.
Out goes the patchwork system, and in come new lawn rotors and sprays for the turf, plus drip irrigation for trees, shrubs and other ground cover plantings. Also to be installed are a pump station and a computerized control system, complete with a weather station.
“This is going to use the water better,” Fowler said.
At times, there will be more than water coursing through the park’s new veins. Hughes noted there will be a “fertigation” system, in which fertilizer, such as nitrogen, is injected directly into the irrigation.