The design process for the south playground in Sloan’s Lake Park was completed in late 2020, was sent to bid for construction through the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s (DOTI) on-call process that winter, and Haselden was selected as the General Contractor (GC) in early 2021. Over the next several months, numerous rounds of value engineering were completed, and a handful of elements were removed to bring the project within budget. The splash pad – a highly requested play feature by the community – was left in the design, and all applicable permits were approved.
Haselden was awarded Notice-to-Proceed (NTP) in August 2021, and the GC attempted to pull all necessary, and approved, permits. However, the fee for the Sewer Use and Drainage Permit (SUDP) was incorrectly stated at $100,000. When the issue was brought to the attention of the SUDP administrators, they admitted to having assumed the splash pad was draining to sanitary – not through a sand and gravel filter which led to a detention pond and overflowed into the lake (as clearly shown on the construction documents). Due to this permitting oversight, additional regulatory agencies within the City and County of Denver and the State of Colorado redacted their previous approvals and deemed the splash pad unbuildable as currently designed.
With a regional playground offline, a mobilized GC, and no additional funding, redesigning the splash pad and restarting the entire permitting process was not a viable option. As such, the project team decided to eliminate water play from the design, add the bicycle pump track back in (a popular element with the community that was removed during the value engineering phase in early 2021), and transform the previous water play area into sand play – a design decision that allowed the boulders that were already fabricated to be reused as an alternative nature play feature.
As of mid-February 2022, all permits have been reissued. Haselden anticipates mobilizing in April, and without any further delays, the project should be complete in early 2023.