After many years of waiting, residents of the neighborhood around Pacific Drive Park will finally see their park improved.
Fullerton Council voted unanimously at the August 3 meeting to award an $844,845 construction contract to Micon Construction, Inc. for the Pacific Drive Park Improvements Project.
Park Dwelling Funds and Community Development Block Grant Fund (CDBG) will provide funding for the extensive improvements to the park.
In addition, St. Jude Medical Center awarded a grant to the City to purchase eight of the nine proposed pieces of exercise equipment to be included in the park’s renovation.
Pacific Drive Park is located at 222 Pacific Drive adjacent to Pacific Drive Elementary School, whose students often come from lower income households, and may not have easy access to other city parks.
Over the past five years, City staff met with residents to gather information related to their concerns and requests to improve the park. City staff also met with the Fullerton School District and Pacific Drive Elementary School staff for their input.
Residents of the Pacific Drive Park neighborhood actively participated in the design of the park. The improvements will include new playground equipment, concrete walkways, new exercise equipment, a new basketball court, and new benches and picnic tables.
Many residents of the neighborhood around Pacific Drive Park spoke of the poor current condition of the park and in favor of the improvement project.
“Our southside of Fullerton is in need of your help and assistance. We need our parks. We need to have a place to be able to go,” Rosa Bravo-Merritt said.
“It’s hard living across the street from a park where the kids can’t go. It’s not green,” Kimberly Dean said.
A parent who lives near Pacific Drive Park said that the park and parking lot have become an attractive nuisance, with drug deals and other illegal activity going on.
“Mostly we drive to parks on the north side of town because we know they’re safe, we know the bathrooms are clean,” he said. “It would be really nice to have our neighborhood park be safe.”
Miguel Alvarez also mentioned illegal activity at the park and suggested either closing down the bathrooms or fencing up the park to avoid these problems.
Community leader Egleth Nunnci expressed concern that the item had been continued/delayed at the last meeting.
Councilmember Fred Jung, who had requested that the item be continued, said that his intentions were only to better understand the costs of the park improvement project.
City staff anticipates construction to begin in September and take several months to complete.
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