Murrieta’s Town Square Park to move forward with improvements

Town Square Park in Murrieta, which features a fitness route, will soon see improvements including new restrooms and a cover over the amphitheater. Shane Gibson photo
Town Square Park in Murrieta, which features a fitness route, will soon see improvements including new restrooms and a cover over the amphitheater. Shane Gibson photo

Murrieta Park and Recreation Manager Lea Kolek led a workshop on the city’s Town Square Park improvement plan Tuesday, Feb. 7, highlighting the need for upgrades and maintenance improvements.

The park, which opened for use in the spring 2006, is the home to many of Murrieta’s special events including the annual Field of Honor put on by Rotary Club of Murrieta, Get Shamrocked, the city’s annual Festival of Trees and Murrieta’s Memorial Day Observance ceremony.

“The first phase opened in 2006 and included essentially what is out there right now,” Kolek said.

Phase one of the three-phase $3.7 million project will be completed once the city rehabilitates the well and adds restrooms at the site. Early plans for phase two includes a storage room, a dressing room or green room, an amphitheater covering and some utility infrastructure improvements, Kolek explained.

Phase three of the improvements includes a public-address system and Wi-Fi.

“During the first phase, however, the project lost momentum when Gov. Brown dissolved the redevelopment agencies which was how we were funding the park project,” Kolek said, adding that the bulk of the project was placed on hold.

Kolek said with the usage of the park being what it was at the time, staff then believed the park project needed restrooms so development impact fees were added. With the state’s RDA funds being released, the city can now move forward with the project.

“The state has not provided a time table by which the funds must be used, but moving forward, sooner rather than later, will provide the community with an enhanced facility suitable for a variety of user groups,” she said.

After contracting with International Design Services for architectural services to design the final amenities of the park, staff met with annual users of the facilities to get their feedback, as well as Starway projections that provides lights and sound for the city’s annual birthday bash, who Kolek said “was able to shed some light on the project.”

Louis Marinelli with IDS group presented a full concept of the park, complete with a band shell amphitheater design flanked by restrooms and changing facilities with a covered walkway between them.

“As the concept itself developed, we actually spread the auxiliary buildings out to allow for adjacent space which could be used to enlarge the amphitheater stage itself,” he said.

The design includes detailing to make the buildings compatible with City Hall and the library with an operable wall system that can make the stage larger or smaller based on the type of event being held. To cut down on maintenance costs, the entire structure will be made out of steel.

Kolek said the buildings, which come with a $1.2 million price tag, would be built off-site, delivered to the city and should be completed within 120 days of the order date. Capacity of the restrooms allows 405 persons per hour, but there would need to be additional services for any event lasting longer than four hours.

The timetable for the project shows construction in July or August, installation in November and completion by the end of January 2018.

“This is assuming that everything goes just perfect,” Kolek said.

Kolek said she hopes to see finalized construction drawings within two months and to send the project out for bid no later than June.

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