FARMINGTON

Farmington's all-abilities park design will be unveiled during two meetings this week

Project comes with $13 million price tag

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Farmington residents will have two chances to see what the city's planned new all-abilities park will look like early this week when two public presentations of the design will take place.

The presentations will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, at the San Juan Center for Independence, 1204 San Juan Blvd.; and at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Farmington City Council meeting in the council chambers at 800 Municipal Drive.

The park — which will cost an estimated $13 million, up from an original price tag of $10 million — is planned for a more than 8-acre site at the location of the former Tibbetts Middle School at 317 E. Apache St. City officials have described the park as the first all-abilities park in San Juan County, meaning it would be designed to provide universal accessibility and all-inclusive amenities for play, therapy and fitness.

Greg Miller — a principal at MRWM Landscape Architects, the Albuquerque-based firm hired by the city to develop the design — delivered a presentation for the City Council on July 12 that included a design that was 40% complete. It included a large, turf field on the east side and multiple uses, structures and landscapes on the west side.

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The final design for Farmington's planned all-abilities park on the site of the former Tibbetts Middle School will be unveiled during a pair of public meetings this week.

According to that design, the park would be 4 to 5 feet higher on the north side and would feature a variety of simulated mesas, hills, plateaus, canyons, valleys and streambeds intended to mimic the natural topography of the Four Corners region.

The old Tibbets Middle School library, which still stands at the site's west end, would be renovated into restrooms, offices, a community activity and gathering space, and other uses. The park would have three parking lots — two small ones at the west end and a large one in the middle along Apache Street.

Miller said the design he showed councilors at that meeting was by no means final and that substantial changes could take place before the final design was unveiled.

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Farmington's planned all-abilities park will cover an approximate 8-acre site and comes with an estimated price tag of $13 million.

"There's still a lot of flexibility in the design," he said on July 12. "There's a lot of the really fun details that are yet to be resolved."

During that meeting, Mayor Nate Duckett expressed concerns about the amount of money needed to build and maintain the park. But he also said he was optimistic that the funds could be raised quickly from the private sector.

Tuesday's City Council meeting also can be streamed by visiting http://fmtn.org/693/Farmington-City-Council-Meetings.

For more details about the project, visit cofallabilitiespark.org.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.