FUNDS NEEDED FOR MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS TO SHIPE PARK
Hi Neighbors! Great things are starting to happen at Shipe Park! As the new pool construction begins this fall, plans are in the works to improve other areas in need of attention including…
- Renovation of the 1930s log cabin exterior (Fall project)
- Repurposing the Old Wading Pool area into play area (Winter Project)
- Relocation of swing set and addition of benches and picnic tables (Winter Project)
- Eventual replacement of the playscape (future project)
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Friends of Shipe Park must raise $34,000 as a required matching component for a $50,000 Austin Parks Foundation Community Grant. This money will fund the Log Cabin Project which will restore the Log Cabin and the Wading Pool Project which will improve the swing set and current wading pool areas. With the help of neighbors, the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, foundations, and community businesses, we plan to raise $34,000 in required matching funds by the end of October 2018. This will ensure that, when the new swimming pool is completed, other areas of Shipe Park will be restored and ready for use and enjoyment by Shipe Park users.
HOW TO DONATE
For online donations, go to: https://austinparks.org/support-shipe-park
Use this link only…not the ‘Donation’ link on the APF website to ensure the funds go only to the Shipe Park Fund.
Checks may be made out to Austin Parks Foundation. Please write ‘Shipe Park’ in the memo line and mail your check to: Austin Parks Foundation, Shipe Park Sponsored Fund Account, 1023 Springdale Road, #4B, Austin, Texas 78721.
WHAT IMPROVEMENTS ARE NECESSARY AND WHO’S PAYING?
LOG CABIN PROJECT
This 1930s structure has long been an integral part of activity at Shipe Park, serving as a shelter for birthday parties, concerts, picnics, social gatherings and the park’s restrooms. But it desperately needs attention! Friends of Shipe Park has been urging the Parks and Recreation Department to restore the Cabin for years and finally PARD is positioned to address the Cabin’s needs and has provided funding through the City of Austin Capital Improvements Project (CIP) to pay for the restored ADA compliant restrooms. However, private funds are needed for other critical repairs to the Log Cabin.
Status In Progress
Scope of Work Shingle and decking repair; structural remediation; log repair and new chinking between the logs.
Timeline September thru December 2018
In November 2017, the Austin Parks Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to Friends of Shipe Park to help fund the renovation of the Shipe Log Cabin and a Phase 2 plan called the Wading Pool Project. After reviewing the bids for the Log Cabin, the Austin Parks Foundation hired a builder, James Nolan Construction, who has a special interest in historical properties. PARD and Friends of Shipe Park will provide oversight and ensure that the work and materials are done in compliance with accepted standards for historic structures.
LOG CABIN BATHROOM AND SIDEWALK WORK
Status In Progress
The City has completed the ADA changes to the bathrooms and the remaining improvements will be done during pool construction
Scope of Work Replacing the restroom doors with newly forged identical hardware; Installing new concrete sidewalks around the Log Cabin; Regrading around the Cabin’s perimeter; Aeration and Mulching of Heritage Tree
Timeline September 2018 thru June 2019
Cost $0 (Included in new Pool Budget)
Per the new Shipe Pool design, the Log Cabin bathrooms serve as two of the four required bathroom facilities servicing the pool thus preserving space in the new pool area and providing newly-renovated bathrooms year-round to park users. This part of the project will be funded out of the $3.1M in CIP funds for the pool.
OLD WADING POOL PROJECT
The Wading Pool is relocating to the new pool area. The old wading pool will be demolished, filled and regraded… leaving an unused area inside the fence. This project aims to restore that area for park use by converting it into an additional play area as well as solving the critical issues concerning the existing swing set area. Our beautiful heritage Live Oak tree, which has shaded the swing set for decades, is critically encroaching on the swing set, causing the removal of at least one swing. The City’s Urban Forestry Department has been working with Friends of Shipe Park for over a year to find a solution that does not include cutting any more branches off the old tree. Our best solution is to relocate the swing set to the Wading Pool area. Per code, any new swing set must be in a fenced area making the fenced wading pool area the best viable location. Additionally, this solution not only saves the tree branches but will allow for a conversion of the shady area to a mulched picnic and bench seating area for park users.
Status Design Phase
Scope of Work: Demo, Regrading and Fill in Wading Pool area (Included in Pool Budget); Removal of sidewalk on north side of Wading Pool area (Included in Pool Budget); Relocating the swing set to the new space; Adding one picnic table and one bench to the new space; Repair fence; Demo of gravel in swing area, Aeration, Composting in tree root zone; Installation of three picnic tables and three benches; Installation of 275 Cu Yds of Mulch in both areas
Timeline September 2018 thru June 2019 during new pool construction
The Austin Parks Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to Friends of Shipe Park on the condition that the community raise the extra money to complete both projects. The combined total of the Log Cabin and Wading Pool Project is expected to cost around $84,000 which, after deducting the $50,000 grant money, leaves a remainder of $34,000 to be raised through community fundraising.
NEW SHIPE POOL PROJECT
Status Bidding Stage
In 2014 Council Members Kathie Tovo and Laura Morrison led the effort to secure $3.1M in Capital Improvements Projects funding to build a new Shipe Pool. The planning and permitting process has been complicated and painfully slow. Because the old pool leaked badly, PARD closed it during the 2017 and 2018 swim seasons. The most recent delay came in July 2018 when the only contractor who bid on the pool construction was disqualified. This required the City to re-solicit bids. On August 16ththe City announced that three contractors had submitted new bids from which the City will make a final selection. While there could be further delays, the City’s ideal schedule is for construction to begin this fall and completed by June 2019. Friends of Shipe Park will keep the community updated on the revised schedule.
FUTURE NEEDS AT SHIPE PARK
Although not included in this fundraising cycle, here’s a glimpse of our future needs.
The current playscape was added in 2004. A recent City of Austin “Playground Conditions Assessment” stated: “Shipe Playground has failing Poured-in-Place Rubber Safety Surfacing and severely compacted pea gravel that is non-compliant for the height of the equipment. The decks are rusted. The playground is in poor condition. The play structures have outlived their designed useful life.” The report estimates the replacement cost at $150,000. While the City of Austin’s tentative/proposed fall 2018 bond package includes funding for playscape replacements, Shipe is not on the list of park playscapes in most critical need of replacement.
The surface of the court has developed a crack down the middle from one end to the other. The width of this cracking is uneven and presents an unsafe surface for players. While this has been reported to PARD, there are no current plans to repair it.
WHO ARE THE FRIENDS OF SHIPE PARK
Friends of Shipe Park is an informal group of neighbors dedicated to enhancing life in Hyde Park through events and improvements to Shipe Park.
OUR VISION FOR SHIPE PARK
In five years, Shipe Park will be the best neighborhood park in Austin.
Our activities have included the annual It’s My Park Day, tree plantings, ball moss removal, a sprinkler system, pool parties, movie nights, the pool mural, and parks advocacy. Current active members include Stacy Baker, Adam Wilson, Mark Fishman, Jill and Jack Nokes, Suzee Brooks, Alison Young, Lisa Harris, Haley Moberg, and Betsy Clubine. To join us or learn more go to https://shipepark.org, or contact Jill Nokes at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alison Ycung at email@example.com.
History of Shipe Park
Since 1928 Shipe Park has been an integral part of living in Hyde Park. Generations of Austinites have enjoyed Shipe’s amenities, and as Austin has grown, park usage has significantly increased. Shipe is getting “loved to death” and its facilities are aging (if not aged): the cabin was built in 1930, the wading pool in 1933, the swimming pool in 1934, the playscape in 2004. All of these facilities have outlived their useful lives and/or are no longer in compliance with established standards for parks and pools.
FRIENDS OF SHIPE PARK IS DOING IT’S BEST TO PRESERVE AND IMPROVE SHIPE FOR THE FUTURE BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!