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City Projects Making Progress
A site for a skatepark, work on a new City Hall - things are moving full steam ahead in Escalon.

Crews have been making steady progress on the new Civic Center site at 2060 McHenry, next door to the Escalon Police Department/Recreation Department site. Concrete was poured for the floor in the structure in the past week, with workers looking to enclose the building soon so work can continue during the rainy weather.

"It's all on schedule," explained Escalon City Manager Henry Hesling. "They got all the fire sprinklers in, plumbing installed for the restrooms, conduit for the electrical system, the water lines."

The new facility, when completed, will house the various city offices including the city clerk, finance department, city manager, in addition to building/planning/engineering. It will also include council chambers for meetings and will give the city a consolidated presence on McHenry Avenue, with all departments except public works housed in the two-building complex. Public Works will maintain its site and Corporation Yard on Main Street.

Hesling said the work is moving ahead as planned at the site, with the goal to have work completed and start the move to the new location by early 2012.

"Next they'll start finishing it inside, do all the framing, get the sheetrock up," he explained. "The plan is to have it finished, probably by the end of January, and starting to move in around the first of February."

Lead contractor on the project is the local C.T. Brayton and Sons, Inc. with several subcontractors brought in for the various parts of the building. Engineering tech Dave Ruby is serving as the city liaison to the project.

Meanwhile, progress is also being made on bringing a skatepark to fruition for the city.

Escalon City Council members gave their nod of approval to the preferred skatepark site at their Monday night meeting, Nov. 7, with the new Escalon Parks Foundation recommending a site in the southeast portion of Main Street Park as the location.

The approval by the council, said Hesling, gives the Foundation the go ahead to start work in earnest, looking to line up funding sources, draft a skatepark schematic plan and more. The Foundation board considered the drainage basin at Hogan Park, along Arthur Road, and the Main Street Park site, listing pros and cons of both locations. The Main Street site came out on top, and the Foundation forwarded that recommendation to council.

"Main Street appears to be a clearly better location, based on logistics, use and cost," Foundation board members wrote in their recommendation. "The only potential hurdle would be successfully negotiating a long-term lease for the property. If this could be effectively done, the Escalon Parks Foundation unanimously recommends this location be used for the construction of a new skatepark."

Hesling and City Engineer John Abrew both agreed with the Main Street location as being the better option of the two, and Hesling said the Foundation will be responsible for developing the site, ranging from landscaping improvements to site layout feasibility studies to parking issues.