The Orem City Council is ready to bring residents in on the discussion of what options and amenities should be put in place at the new Hillcrest Park.
However, that will not happen until a special meeting is held Thursday, to give a nod to a company that has an interest in buying the school building for commercial use.
RevRoad, a Provo company that houses start-up companies, is the interested company. The building would house RevRoad’s offices.
That would put the first option as the option of choice, with the largest costs and smallest park.
City council members were hesitant to allow RevRoad the time, as six of the seven have already said they were more interested in the second and third options and had no interest in entertaining the first option.
Concepts 2 and 3 have some similar purpose. Both offer enough pickleball courts to be considered a regional pickleball park and allow for regional tournaments to be played there. Pickleball is swiftly becoming one of the top sports throughout the country. It is all a revenue option for the city.
Other amenities include playground areas, firepit gathering area, even option 3 has a hammock park, outdoor rooms, game tables, ping pong area, pavilions, walking paths and more. Most amenities are not found elsewhere in the city.
Both options 2 and 3 cost about $10 million, according to Brenn Bybee, assistant city manager. Option 1 is about $15 million.
Option 2 would leave the newest portion of the elementary school standing. That includes the gym, kitchen, stage, media room and a classroom that were added in 2004. The rest of the school would be demolished.
Option 3 would take out the building completely, enlarge the park and add two more pickleball courts. That would equal 16 courts.
Several of the council members reiterated their feelings from the last council meeting where the options were presented that this locations is a benefit and a boon not only to the business district but specifically to the residents in the Hillcrest Neighborhood.
Several council members said a presentation would not change their minds as they had received email from residents interested in a larger park.
If the first option was viable, at least 50% of the property would have to be turned into parking for the office building and the park.
“Selling the building (option 1) would be a competing interest with the park,” Bybee said.
Councilman Terry Peterson, who has been championing the park for the Hillcrest area said he was not interested in scheduling a meeting with RevRoad.
Former Councilman Mark Seastrand, representing RevRoad, asked for the meeting.
“I am opposed to scheduling this meeting,” Peterson said, “and that one citizen can come in and change and delay a city park.”
Jamie Davidson, city manager, reassured Peterson that the intent would be to engage the community as to its interest with only options 2 and 3.
Councilman Jeff Lambson said he doesn’t mind having the special meeting out of respect, but said he doesn’t see his mind being switched.
The council was reminded that the three concepts or options are only suggestions and that it will be decided with use of the parks master plan and input from residents.
The council will meet with RevRoad at 4 p.m. Thursday. Residents can follow along on the city’s YouTube.com channel.