FAIRFIELD — A $2.9 million contract for the Dunnell Nature Park and Education Center won Fairfield City Council approval Tuesday after questions about whether the municipality can pay for maintenance of the site.
Councilwoman Catherine Moy said she’d hate to hear in five to seven years that the city needs a few million dollars to fix the property or has to add employees because of the park.
Kevin Berryhill, assistant public works director, said facility rentals will help pay for the site and that Fairfield has the funds to maintain the property.
The center and grounds will be home to the “Life After School” program for Rolling Hills Elementary School and serve as an education site for local agencies and environmental stewards.
Homes of the Dunnell family, which once owned all the land where the Rolling Hills subdivision was built, are on the 7.8-acre site. The family trust bequeathed the site to the city for recreation and education.
Renovating the main residence into a nature education center, demolishing a second residence because of seismic issues and building an adventure play zone are part of the project.
A total of $1.3 million Nature Education Facility grant funds, along with Assembly Bill 1600 park funding, will pay for the project.
Diede Construction of Woodbridge was the low bidder among 12 the city received. The high bid for the work was $3.6 million.
Contact Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.