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8/21/2012 10:59:00 AM
School/Community Park receives $275,000 from Tusayan Town Council
Initial phase of project to include sports court, parking and lighting
Park Project Manager Andrew Aldaz and Architect Michael Taylor explain facets of Phase 1 of the community park project to Tusayan Council members during the Aug. 15 regular meeting. Ryan Williams/WGCN
Park Project Manager Andrew Aldaz and Architect Michael Taylor explain facets of Phase 1 of the community park project to Tusayan Council members during the Aug. 15 regular meeting. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Ryan Williams
Managing Editor

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - A Tusayan Community Park has become a reality thanks to funding from a variety of sources but most recently from the Tusayan Town Council to the tune of $275,000.

Council members approved the funding allocation during their Aug. 15 regular meeting.

Interim Tusayan Town Manager Tami Real said a total of $554,800 will be needed to complete the entire scope of the proposed project along with all bid alternates. Completing a sports court along with necessary parking, lighting, fencing and architect and project management fees will cost $287,500.

Grand Canyon School has committed $40,000 to the project bringing the available funding to $315,000. Red Feather Lodge has committed $25,000 specifically to the construction of a ramada structure to be built at a later date with Grand Canyon Rotary also committing $10,000 for the structure.

The proposed ramada including slab and superstructure will cost $146,940. A tot lot has also been proposed. To build fencing, curbing and fall protection will run around $78,500 but does not include any play structures. Preliminary work for the play area will be completed for $27,800.

Councilman John Rueter said moving forward on the project at this point in time is important despite being unable to complete all portions of the project at the outset.

"I don't want to see us hung up on very small items and I think if we can bear with each other and work together we can move this ahead and accomplish something," he said. "Everyone doesn't get everything they want but there is something in here for everybody."

Michael Taylor from Taylor Architects said a smaller tot lot that could be expanded later could be designed and built at a reduced cost.

Councilman Craig Sanderson said downsizing the scope of the tot lot and having a usable play area would be desirable.

Councilman Rueter said he felt that in order to get moving on the project, it would be best to keep moving with the proposed portions of the project.

"It's really a great need," he said. "I think it is better to address it through another appropriation. Also we have not really begun to exhaust possible other donations out there and I think some other entities in the community might be more inclined to step forward when they can really see physically what we're putting together and they see us working together."

Project Manager Andrew Aldaz agreed that once construction begins there will likely be additional donors to the project.

Council members eventually voted unanimously to provide the $275,000 in funding. The sport court is estimated to cost $141,016, power and lighting will run $54,400, fencing is estimated at $57,850, architectural fees will be $27,000 and project management fees will cost $7,500. Concrete ABC base course and earthwork for the tot lot is priced at $27,800.

Former Tusayan Mayor Pete Shearer said a park project was first considered in 2001 when he and Clarinda Vail began work to acquire land from the Forest Service through the Education Land Grant Act. Under the legislation, which was based on an 1870 statute allowing transfer of government land to colleges, public school districts may purchase up to 80 acres of federal land, at $10 per acre, for educational use. The school district succeeded in buying 80 acres of land in June of 2008.

"We've been working since then to try to get this park moving," Shearer said. "And, it wouldn't have happened without all the contributers."

Shearer said Stilo Group, Red Feather Lodge, the South Grand Canyon Sanitation District, the school district and others have been instrumental in making a park a reality in the community.

"It's been a long time goal of a lot of people in town," he said. "I fully support this partnership. It benefits everybody. Not just Tusayan but Grand Canyon and Valle. All three of the communities."

Aldaz said Coconino County helped to clear the area located west of Route 64 adjacent to airport and private property.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012
Article comment by: Local Long Time Resident

The Thurston and the Rotters have always been long time contributors to the school, So have the Babbitt Family, DNC, Mc Donalds, and Fred Harvey. For those who forget the school has been here for years, and local business have always supported the school and needs of the kids. Dont dismiss their long time contributions to the sparkle of ipads and a park. These business and families will continue to contribute long after STILO has built and gone.

Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012
Article comment by: JANE DOE


Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Article comment by: John Wesley Powell

Andrew Aldaz's continued support of the Canyon community is awesome!!! I've known him since he was just a little kid...a real "local boy makes good" story.

Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Article comment by: Tusayan Resident

Its nice that the Thurstons have joined Stilo, Xanterra and the Halvorsens in supporting the School

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