Contractor Chosen for Frank Powell Sr. Park Renovations; No Timeline Set

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A second contractor has been chosen for the renovations to the Franklin Powell Sr. Park, but there is no timeline for the renovations, which have been delayed for more than a year for several different reasons.

Carlson Construction has been chosen for the project, according to St. John Administrator Julien Harley, who de-ferred questions regarding the timeline of the project to the contractors.

“We aren’t doing anything because season is here,” said Harley. “There are other things that have to be ironed out.”

No time frame is in place for the renovations, which will take approximately six weeks to complete.

“We don’t have anything at this time,” said a Carlson Construction representative when asked whether the company had a timeline or plans to share with the public.

Renovations to the Cruz Bay park, which is one of the first things visitors see upon arrival from the ferry dock, are designed to beautify the area and improve the functionality of the park.

The original design for the renovations called for the removal of the curbs and leveling of the ground throughout the park; installation of new benches; new landscaping; installation of an underground water and electrical system; and erection of a small building to house the electronic system, simplifying the setup process for musicians performing in the park.

Renovations to the Cruz Bay public restrooms, which were originally part of the Frank Powell Sr. Park renovations, have been underway since September.

 A Timeline: Frank Powell Sr. Park Delays

October 2005 – The original start date for renovations to the park.

November 2005 – Weather and problems with permitting delay the renovations, according to Department of Public Works St. John Deputy Director Ira Wade. The work is scheduled to begin the first of January to avoid construction being underway during Christmas.

January 2006 – The renovations have not begun, and Wade and Harley will not specify what those problems are.

“Problems have occurred,” said Wade.

Work is scheduled to begin in the near future, according to contractor Best Construction’s project manager, Don Cameron.

“I don’t want to comment on it right now, but we will be getting started shortly,” said Cameron.

February 2006 – Harley and Best Construction meet to discuss the renovations. An announcement regarding the renovations was to be made by Friday, February 24, according to Wade. Harley admits his frustration with the delays.

“I wanted this park to start, and be way ahead of Roosevelt Park (on St. Thomas), but they’ve done groundbreaking, and we still haven’t done anything yet,” said Harley. “I let the guy know the urgency. We’ve been waiting too long, and we need to see something tangible.”

March 2006 – Wade estimates the renovations will be completed in time for Fourth of July festivities.

“We’ve been trying to schedule a meeting (with Best Construction) to finalize the plans on that,” said Wade.

April 2006 – Harley meets with Best Construction yet again.

“There are some kinks that we have to work out,” said Harley. “Among stuff that has to be done, we have to get the permits. I don’t think it will be done by carnival.”

June 2006 – Best Construction is removed from the project due to the constant delays.

“They were moving too slow for us,” said Harley. “We couldn’t just keep listening to them having excuses all the time.”

Discussions on finding a new contractor begin.

“We’ve had discussions about who is going to do it,” said Harley. “Right now there’s some stuff they have to turn in to us before everything is figured out.”

September 2006 – St. John contractor Carlson Construction comes forward to see how the company can help with the renovations.

“They came forward to see how the project could be done, and how they could help,” said  Harley.

Carlson did not confirm at the time that it was involved with the project.

Harley hopes to finish the park renovations by the end of 2006.

“I thought maybe we could get it finished before season, but now I am hoping to get it done by

Thanksgiving, or by the first week in December,” Harley said.

DPW, which was involved in the project from the beginning, will now only help out minimally, according to Wade.

“The renovations are in the administrator’s hands now,” said Wade. “We will be asked to do some of the trucking for them and any heavy equipment work that they may need.”

December 2006 – Harley confirms the selection of the project’s second contractor, Carlson Construction.