Eight acres of prime nature real estate, set in Knudsen Park, are officially in the works to be made into a destination nature park.
Of the nine companies who responded to the City of Holladay’s request for proposals, Hughes General Contractors stood out as the best candidate for the Knudsen Park design/build project after meeting with the Knudsen Park subcommittee.
“Of the final three, all had great proposals and great teams. What (the sub-committee) felt stood out was how much time and effort (Hughes) put into their proposals,” said Mark Stewart, part of subcommittee and District 5 representative.
Stewart went on to explain the in-depth nature of Hughes’ research of Holladay City and the Knudsen Park area.
“(Hughes) contacted the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers to provide a background and history of Knudsen Park area,” Stewart said.
Holly Smith, grants and project coordinator with Holladay City and part of the subcommittee, was also impressed with the level of historical touches Hughes included in their proposal and during presentation with the subcommittee.
“During the presentation they brought in a piece of concrete they had manufactured specifically for the interview that looked like wood,” said Smith.
In a later interview, Doug Chatterton, project manager with Hughes General Contractors, explained the importance for them in utilizing sustainable practices and materials to give the park a historic feel.
Hence Hughes’ decision to propose using concrete with an overlay design that will give the structures, such as the proposed restroom and pavilions, the look and feel of wood to mimic the aesthetics of the old Knudsen flour mill.
Timeline was another factor subcommittee members were impressed with upon deciding between the potential candidates. Hughes’ proposed timeline estimated Knudsen Park could be completed by the end of summer or early fall of 2018.
“They were very well prepared, and bespoke a good organizational skill for them,” said Steve Gunn, part of subcommittee and District 4 representative.
Once vetted for all the reasons previously listed, the only remaining issue was cost. Smith said Hughes’ budget was competitive with the other potential candidates.
“We feel like we’re getting quality, as well as good cost. It’s a nice balance of both,” Smith said.
There are no official plans ready at this time, as this is a design/build project in the earliest stages of inception. If the 2015 ZAP Recreational Application is any indication of what’s to come, Knudsen Park has the potential for some great features.
Potential features listed in the 2015 application include passive recreation areas such as open lawns, picnic areas, preserved oak forest for wildlife habitat for bird and animal watching, wildlife and river education nodes, one mile of new on-site trails and connections to the regional trails of Big Cottonwood, Bonneville Shoreline, Jordan River and Heughs Canyon — to name a few.
“This has been years in the making, beginning well before I came into office. It is a big deal. I’m thrilled to hear that in a littler over a year from now we’ll have protected this space for generations,” said Mayor Rob Dahle during the city council working session.
Dahle went on to express his gratitude to all involved, including both current and past council and Holladay City representatives. Hughes is looking forward to their role in bringing a beautiful park to Holladay residents, as well.
“We want this to be a destination park,” said Chatterton.
During the working session, Stewart expressed the subcommittee’s plan to have residents involved during the process, including the potential for a resident committee that will be invited to sit in on various subcommittee meetings to provide input on park amenity decisions. There would also be less formal forms of resident input.
“Of course, we’ll have public hearings and open houses where residents will have the opportunity to participate in the process. Which will be a great,” Stewart said.
In a later interview, Stewart continued to express his enthusiasm. “I am excited about the park because it will provide our residents with another location that they can gather with friends and family, be active and enjoy nature.”