Pictured is a sketch of the pavilion that's set to be built at Harbin Park in the scenic overlook area. The 100-person pavilion is part of the first major renovation of the park since it opened nearly 50 years ago. PROVIDED
These contracts are the continuation of the city’s multi-year redevelopment project of the 200-plus-acre Harbin Park, the city’s largest park that’s been relatively unchanged since it was developed nearly 50 years ago.
“Master planning done by Fairfield Parks and Recreation staff with Brandstetter Carroll, Inc. assistance, led to the development of the current multi-phase plan,” said Fairfield Parks and Recreation Director Tiphanie Mays. “(Phase 1) of the project will include a new restroom and a pavilion that will make it possible to host larger private-social gatherings.”
Harbin Park’s redevelopment has been years in the making, with upgrade discussions happening since 2014. With the help of $700,000 from the state capital funds in 2020, redevelopment work started earlier this year with the construction of the now completed perimeter loop trail. Eight pickleball courts have also been constructed.
The state allocated $150,000 of the capital budget funds for the park’s loop trail, and $550,000 was designated to complete the overlook renovations. Phase 1, which could cost nearly $1.5 million, is set to wrap up by June 2022, and Alpha Demolition, if contracted, will start the overlook renovations either later this month or in early November, Mays said.
Planning for Phase 2 is underway, with the concept design of the proposed play area ― considered one of the key components of this phase of the renovation ― already approved by the Parks Board. Additional key components of Phase 2 include a new parking area and medium-sized shelters.
Pictured is a sketch of the new play area set to be built at Harbin Park in the upper center area of the park. The play area is large enough to allow younger children to play safely away from older children. This play ara is part of the first major renovation of Harbin Park since it opened nearly 50 years ago. PROVIDED
Harbin Park is a regional destination location, offering 200 acres to visitors and residents with several recreational opportunities, Mays said. She said this project is in response to the growing tourism in Butler County, and “will be an effective and coordinated response to the region’s needs by attracting regional and national events in partnership with the Butler County Visitor’s Bureau.”
Amenities at Harbin Park, include the scenic overlook, as well as a sledding hill, picnic shelters, playgrounds, paved bike and hiking paths, mountain bike trails, nature trails, tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, disc golf course, and large natural expanses.
“Economically, the renovations will also benefit our retention and attraction efforts for seeking a quality mix of businesses and residents in an effort to sustain our financial base,” Mays said.
The shelter and restroom facility for the overlook renovation project were identified as “key components” to this renovation phase.
“These amenities are needed both for our residents and their enjoyment, but also for competing with similar-sized cities in other states for nationally sponsored events and tourism,” Mays said.
HARBIN PARK RENOVATION
There are four phases of the Harbin Park renovations, which include:
Phase I: Overlook renovation, which includes site demolition and re-grading, and constructing a large pavilion and new restrooms. The construction timeline is now through to mid-2022.
Phase II: Central renovation, which includes constructing a new, expanded play area, improved parking, and medium shelters. Construction is expected to take place through most of 2022.
Phase III: Lower renovation, which includes improvements on the disc golf course, new shelters and restrooms, improvements on the outdoor fitness area and tennis courts. Construction is expected to take place in 2023.
Phase IV: Internal renovation, which includes connecting the internal trail to all areas of the park, an improved park entrance, and wayfinding. Construction is expected to take place in 2024.
SOURCE: city of Fairfield