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Orem’s Hillcrest Park gets architect, starts using portions of school

By Genelle Pugmire - Daily Herald | Jan 13, 2022

Courtesy Orem city

New sign designating Orem's Hillcrest Park.

Residents in Orem’s Hillcrest neighborhood are beginning to see signs that a city park will be there soon.

“Last week, the city finalized an agreement with Blu Line Designs to design the city’s latest park located on 9.8 acres of property at 651 E. 1400 South,” said Brenn Bybee, deputy city manager. “Blu Line was selected for its experience building similar projects all along the Wasatch Front, including work in Syracuse, Salt Lake City, Draper, Provo and Santaquin.”

The project’s first construction-design meeting is scheduled in the next few weeks with plans to also hire a general contractor relatively quickly as the project gets underway, Bybee added.

The plan is to use a construction management/general contractor process in building the $12 million park. The CMGC process was also used with the construction of the new Orem Family Fitness Center.

CMGC was selected based on a desire to accelerate construction of the project — the city expects to turn dirt on the park this year.

Courtesy Orem city

Hillcrest Park gym has been cleaned and is now being used.

In the meantime, the city has cleaned up the gym at the old Hillcrest Elementary School and it is now being used by the city’s recreation department on Saturdays and for after-school activities.

The Orem City Council, in selecting options for the park, chose to keep the newer portions of the school for community use. That includes the gym, a professional kitchen and more.

“The facility couldn’t have come at a better time for our department,” said Bryce Merrill, Recreation director. “With incredible demand and use of the new Fitness Center’s gyms for our members and residents, we’ve been able to continue building and growing our recreation basketball program at the Hillcrest gyms.”

He said the city is barely seeing the tip of the iceberg with what it will be able to offer residents with Hillcrest Park.

“We’re excited to be able to offer so many new types of programming due to the availability of the Hillcrest facility. We’re scheduling the two courts of indoor pickleball for individuals and groups to come use; drop-in youth and adult volleyball, futsal, and basketball. Additional programming for our PreK programs during the day are now possible too since we’re not conflicting with a school schedule,” Merrill added.

The outdoor park facilities are expected to include walking paths, playgrounds, a splash pad, meditation areas, open playing fields and restrooms as part of the overall design.

“Programs Manager Debbie Boone and her team have designed an incredible portfolio of programs for families, pre-K kids, youth sports, and drop in activities,” Merrill said. “Six days a week, you’ll start to see basketball, pickleball, volleyball, futsal, and more. And as the park project continues to develop, I think we’ll continue to work with residents to design programming that works for everyone.”

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