TSG Sprucing Up Local Parks and the Turtle Back Zoo This Spring
June 15, 2016
As spring transitions quickly into summer, The Shauger Group, Inc. (TSG) is busy on several new projects to spruce up Essex County. TSG has recently been awarded four projects: baseball field upgrades at Weequahic Park in Newark; park improvements at West Side Park in Newark and Irvington Park in Irvington; and the renovation to a prairie dog exhibit at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange.
West Side Park
At West Side Park in Newark, TSG will be revitalizing a children’s playground and relocating it to a more accessible location within the park. The playground, which was renamed the James “Jim” Wallace Playground in 2006 in memory of the International Youth Organization’s founder James Wallace, has not undergone major improvements since 2002.
The playground has been designed with a magnolia theme, as West Side Park was well-known for its abundance of magnolia trees. With a creative and aesthetically-pleasing park design, the playground will not be the first tree-themed playground constructed by TSG. Just last year, TSG built the Children’s Cherry Blossom Playground for the County of Essex at Newark’s cherry blossom-themed Branch Brook Park.
Consistent with the overall motif of the playground, the perimeter of the playground will be accentuated with magnolia trees. TSG will also install a 580-foot black vinyl-coated chain-link fence and an 80-foot black ornamental aluminum fence.
The playground will be built around a central point: “Magnolia Hill.” Adorning that spot will be a set of magnolia-shaped steel shade structures, as well as climbers in the form of a ladybug, a monarch butterfly, an inchworm, a butterfly net, and a giant cargo net.
Appropriate for children ages two and up, the playground will be subdivided into two sections: one geared toward toddlers from ages two to five and the other toward young children five to 12 years of age.
In addition to standard playground apparatus, which include slides, climbing structures, crawl tubes, tire swings, regular swings, a spinner, suspension bridges, interactive panels, and a merry-go-round, the new playground will also contain a miniature zip line, water misters, and spray areas.
To ensure that all current safety standards are met, TSG will install a new rubberized safety surface. The playground’s new location, which is in front of the West Side Park Community Center, is expected to be safer; the more visible location will allow parents to keep a closer eye on their children—and will give easy access to the adjacent parking lot.
TSG received official notice to move forward on the project on May 12, and the project was announced to the public at a press event on May 20. TSG will complete it within 120 calendar days.
TSG will also install 15 park benches, flood lighting, synthetic turf, a drinking fountain, and trash receptacles.
In Irvington, TSG is conducting improvements to the Irvington Park playground, which include adding in a 1,889-square-foot synthetic turf field. The modernized field will also contain a rubberized safety surface and refreshing water misters. TSG expects to complete the project by early September.
The playground will be suited to children between the ages of two and 12. There will be a plethora of climbing apparatus, including conifer, vine, cloverleaf, and boulder (“river rock”) climbers. In continuation of the nature theme, the playground equipment will have conifer- and leaf-shaped toppers, a log balance beam, and a log “crawl thru.” In the play area for children five years and older, there will be a spinning mushroom, ropes course, and climbing net, while toddlers will have a playtime junction train in their two-to-five play zone.
Age-appropriate slides and swings will be in each area, in order to accommodate children of all ages and sizes. For the musically-inclined, there will also be a set of bongos to play.
With one of its many areas of specialization in drainage and piping work, TSG will install an underdrain system beneath the turf field. In addition to piping, manhole, and water service work, TSG will pour reinforced concrete and install a brickpaver sidewalk. TSG will remove and replace the existing wrought-iron fence and ultimately install an 811-foot steel chain-link fence around the perimeter of the playground.
Benches, picnic tables, trash cans, and bike racks will also be scattered throughout the park.
Once TSG concludes all construction work, it will proceed to the final stage of the project: landscaping. TSG workers will topsoil, fertilize, and seed the park before beautifying it with an assortment of plants and flowers. Ferns, Japanese holly plants, rhododendrons, azaleas, and merlot dwarf sweetspires are among the flora to be included.
Under its contract for the County of Essex, TSG is substantially renovating the baseball field at Weequahic Park. The field was recently renamed the Essex County Bill Hicks Baseball Field in honor of esteemed former Weequahic High School baseball coach, Wilbur “Bill” Hicks, who passed away in December 2015.
The improvements to the park will consist of the addition of a synthetic grass playing surface, new dugouts, bleachers, and a new backstop. In addition, after TSG installs new fencing, new flagpoles, and stamped concrete, TSG’s landscaping division will step in to accentuate the 250,000-square-foot park with landscaping services.
At the bid opening, TSG was determined the lowest responsible responsive bidder on the project. The County issued TSG its notice to proceed beginning on May 31, which triggered the start of the 90-calendar-day timeline by which the project must be completed.
TSG began immediately with the demolition phase, with its initial plans to remove the existing baseball field infield, concrete pads, chain-link fence, and piping, as necessary. TSG will then grade and prepare the site in order to prepare for the next phase of renovations: the installation of the drainage to go underneath the synthetic turf field.
Subsequently, the synthetic turf field will be installed, followed by the concrete walkway. TSG will then add the site amenities and baseball field amenities, which include the home plate, bases, foul pole, three-row steel bleachers, flag poles, pitcher’s mound, player benches, dugout, and bull pen mound. TSG will also put up a chain-link fence and double swing gates, as well as will place benches and trash receptacles throughout the site.
Prairie Dog Exhibit at the Turtle Back Zoo
In order to spruce up the Prairie Dog Exhibit at the West Orange Turtle Back Zoo, the County of Essex issued a bid for an exhibit and patio rehabilitation project. As the lowest responsible and responsive bidder, TSG has taken on the task of making improvements to this section of the zoo. With a fairly accelerated timeline, the project will be completed by mid-July.
TSG will begin with site work, demolishing existing sidewalks, a glass barrier, a split rail fence, plexiglass viewing hoods, and other specific items. TSG will pour stamped concrete, which will have a fractured earth pattern, and asphalt before installing the rubberized play surface. TSG’s carpenters will paint and put in new half-inch tempered glass for the exhibit. A new split rail fence will replace the one removed at the onset of the project.
Slightly reminiscent of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, there will be oversized ants and bees, which are between four and five feet in length. There will also be a giant mushroom table and small decorative mushroom stools for sitting.
Plants and flowers slated for the landscaping phase include perennials and shrubs.
“As an Essex County contractor, we take pride in putting Essex County residents to work,” said Donald Shauger, Executive Vice President of TSG. “Projects such as the improvements at Weequahic Park, West Side Park, Irvington Park, and the Turtle Back Zoo Prairie Dog Exhibit give our company the opportunity to showcase our talented and diverse workforce, as well as our extensive service offerings. Whether we are constructing a new playground, clearing streets after a snow event, providing emergency response services 24/7, or performing one of our myriad other services, it is our mission to provide quality service, both on time and on budget.”