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 Youth Lot Project Updates


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Youth Lot Update (January/February 2005)

By Dede Smullen

Thanks to the neighborhood support and City staff's hard work the Youth Lot is proceeding on schedule and will be opening in late March or conservatively in early April. We will be planning a community planting day to fulfill the terms of our CAP grant as soon as the contractor has vacated the site. After this we are considering a "Grand Opening/Community Picnic" to celebrate our hard work as soon as the weather permits.

Almaden Winery Park Youth Lot Update: We’re almost there!

By Amy Paschal

After three busy years of fundraisers and meetings, construction of a Youth Lot in Almaden Winery Park is in sight! Here is how the schedule lays out:

Activity                                             Due Date              Status

Begin Construction Plan                2/17/04                Done

Construction Plan 50% Complete    4/15/04                Done

Construction Plan Complete           5/28/04                Done

Advertise to Contractors               6/9/2004              Done

Bid Opening                                7/1/2004               Done

Bid Awarded                               8/3/2004               Done

Begin Construction                      10/4/2004              Done

Youth Lot Open!                         3/11/2005              Completed!

On April 28, 2004, the Youth Lot Committee met with members of the City of San Jose Parks, Recreation, & Neighborhood Services department to view the progress of the youth lot plan. This is the construction plan that will be distributed by the parks department to contractors wishing to bid on the project. How exciting to see all our hard work in print! Yes, neighbors, this really is going to happen!! See the diagram below for the construction plans given to us at this meeting. The major elements in the play lot include a play structure, a tire swing and a climbing web.  The construction plans will soon be complete and the process of contractor bid and selection will begin. In the April meeting, we also learned that the final estimate of the youth lot, based on construction plans, is $320,000. As predicted, our current funding of $300,000 (which includes $50,000 raised your neighborhood!) does not quite cover the bill. In creating the construction plan, the city pulled out the landscaped area surrounding the youth lot into what they call an add-alternate plan. The add-alternate, which includes purchase and installation of both plants and irrigation, is estimated at $20,000. The base plan includes the ground preparation for the landscaping area and the sleeves required for the irrigation system.

At our request, the city will break the addalternate into two plans. Add-alternate one will be the irrigation, estimated at $16,000. Addalternate two will be the planting, estimated at $4000. The add-alternate plans can be added to the youth lot project if our neighborhood can come up with the money to cover them. Additional funds raised by us must be delivered to the city by June 30, 2004 — before the plans go out to bid. As you hopefully know, we are now in the midst of our final fundraiser for the youth lot. We are selling inscribed granite pavers which will be installed on the walkway from the main park to the youth lot. We are also continuing to sell park bench plaques. We need to sell 47 more pavers to complete both add-alternate plans. The sale of 22 more pavers would cover the irrigation add-alternate.

Please support our neighborhood park and our community by participating in this final fundraiser. Donations are also accepted. Please make donation checks out to ‘LM – Almaden Winery Youth Lot Fund’ and send to Amy Paschal, 1519 Chaumont Drive. All donations are tax-deductible due to our partnership with Las Madres Neighborhood Playgroups, Inc.

Another Potential Source of Funding

The Youth Lot Committee has also applied for a Community Action & Pride (CAP) Grant through the City of San Jose Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services department. The award of a CAP grant could pay for the landscaping add-alternate if our neighborhood supplies the labor (a requirement of the grant) and could possibly pay for paver inscriptions, freeing up more fundraising money to be used on the irrigation add-alternate. Due to the grant restrictions, a CAP grant could not be used on the irrigation add-alternate since a contractor is required for installation. The grant application was sent in on June 1, 2004 and we will hear if we were granted funds by June 30, 2004.

Almaden Winery Park Youth Lot Update

By Amy Paschal (originally for the Spring 2004 Las Madres Newsletter)

Almaden Winery Park is a small neighborhood park with a tot play lot (ages 2-5) but no youth play lot (ages 6-12).  Moms from the surrounding neighborhood saw their little ones quickly losing interest in the tot lot (of course long before they turned five!) and saw the little ones’ play disrupted by older children looking for a place to play as well. If only there was a youth lot! The neighborhood moms, including two members from Almaden 99, Clarice Simmons and Amy Paschal, decided to take action and make their vision of a youth lot become a reality. From this vision, the Las Madres Almaden Winery Youth Lot Fund, a joint venture between Las Madres Neighborhood Playgroups and the Almaden Winery Neighborhood Association, was born.

That was in 2001. Since then, many fundraisers have been held including last spring’s Casablanca Casino Night bash and last summer’s garage sale. Through these efforts, the Fund members met their initial fundraising goal of $50,000 last fall. This achievement was met with a generous 3x match of $150,000 from San Jose District 10 Councilmember Pat Dando!  With this funding available, planning began! In conjunction with the City of San Jose Parks and Recreation Department, a rough design was chosen by the neighborhood last fall and creation of construction plans is about to begin.

However, based on the planning to date, the Fund is short somewhere between 10K and 35K, depending upon final plan specifications and final estimates developed as part of the construction plans. So we are making a final fundraising push!

As part of this effort, we are pleased to make available personalized natural granite pavers to be placed near the youth lot. The pavers are 8”x8” unpolished natural granite in various shades of grey. They are the same type of pavers, (a.k.a. donor bricks) that were sold as part of the Jake Eby Fund and installed in front of Jake’s Play Lot.

Please help make this dream a reality! Your support is greatly appreciated.

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