By Richard L. Gaw
The London Grove Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to commit $364,233.45 toward the second phase of construction for Goddard Park, which will be designated to the development of a community garden, a children's playground, additional parking, bridges, and the creation of nature trails.
At their June 11 meeting, the supervisors gave the go ahead for the following work, which is scheduled to begin over the summer at the park and be completed this fall:
1. The construction of an upper parking area, storm water drainage, the expansion of a playground area for small children, a community garden, two trail bridges and a natural trail ($225,278.91);
2. the construction of the East Trail ($51,769.77);
3. the construction of the North Trail ($51,386.47); and
4. the construction of a paver community patio ($35,798.30).
Funding for the project will come from two grants – $ 250,000 each – from Chester County and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – as well as the township's Parks and Recreation Fund. After funding of these projects, $45,000 will remain in the fund.
While four potential bidders attended the township's pre-bid meeting, the only bid received by the township was submitted by Lechmanick, Inc, a West Chester-based company specializing in excavation contracting.
The contractor is no stranger to Goddard Park. In 2010, Lechmanick, Inc. began the first phase of construction for the 125-acre park, which included playgrounds, parking lots and other amenities. A dog park was built by the township's Public Works Department. Construction was completed in December 2011, and the park was dedicated on April 28, 2012.
The second phase of Godard Park's construction will for now be done in piecemeal form, largely due to the township's Parks and Recreation Board recommending that the supervisors reject several of the project estimates offered by Lechmanick on the basis of their excessive cost. They included the construction of picnic tables, garden beds, a work and storage shed, parking stops, a fishing pier, a paved community patio, an additional parking lot, as well as the remediation of a pond.
“We sat down and looked at all of the alternates to make the final recommendation,” said board chairman Mike Pickel, who also serves on the Parks and Recreation Board. “We said 'no' to the picnic tables because they would cost $1,760 each, for a total of $7,000 for four picnic tables. The board didn't think that was good use of township money. There were garden beds that we didn't feel we could justify spending $14,000 for.”
Pickel said that these on-hold projects will be developed as more grant money becomes available.
As part of Goddard's master plan, construction is also anticipated to include the development of athletic fields for baseball, softball, soccer, tennis and lacrosse, as well as additional trails, an amphitheater, community gardens, a fishing pier, additional parking, rest rooms and a community building.