Open house to gather resident ideas for Normandy Oaks park

 Attendees of the Normandy Oaks park design open house Oct. 28 will get an overview of the site and see different potential elements that could be installed at the park.

Attendees of the Normandy Oaks park design open house Oct. 28 will get an overview of the site and see different potential elements that could be installed at the park.

Photo provided by Nowak & Fraus


By: Mike Koury | Royal Oak Review | Published October 24, 2017

 Photo provided by Nowak & Fraus

Photo provided by Nowak & Fraus

An open house that will let residents contribute ideas for the Normandy Oaks park conversion will be held Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Royal Oak Schools administration building, 800 DeVillen Ave.

ROYAL OAK — The city will be hosting an open house that will let residents be designers for a day to come up with ideas for the Normandy Oaks park conversion.

The open house will be held during two different sessions: from 9 a.m. to noon, then from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Royal Oak Board of Education office, 800 DeVillen Ave.

Along with consultants Nowak & Fraus and LAP + Creative, the city is looking to gather ideas that would be used at the new park on the land of the former Normandy Oaks Golf Course.

Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids said attendees will be able to get an overview of the site and see different potential elements drawn to scale that could be installed at the park, if it fits into the budget.

“All these little pieces will be drawn to scale, and you’ll have a budget, and they’ll have a price tag on them. So you’ll be able to put everything where you’d like to see it, but you’ve got to stay with the budget,” she said. “Let’s say a pool is a very expensive item. If you want a pool, you may not be able to put much else on the site.”

Davids said the event is something where people can just “drop-in,” but 3:30 p.m. is when the architects and engineers will be doing a presentation with an overview of ideas they’ve had.

She also noted that the open house is an information-type gathering, where the architects will put together some plans from what they get at the meeting and come back again in the future.

“There will be lots of opportunities to sort of chime in on the project, but if you have, like, big ideas, or if you have a really, really cool idea, you need to be there that day or send your really cool ideas to me or any members of the City Commission, and I’m sure it’ll get put into the idea bank,” she said.

Davids continued, “We want to hear from kids. We want to hear from teenagers. We want to hear from retirees. We’re hoping to attract at least 20 people throughout the day and share their idea. This is really your opportunity to see the elements you want to see be there, as long as it’s within budget.”

Jeff Huhta, managing partner at Nowak & Fraus, said attendees will see all different shots of the park for those who haven’t been able to go there, so they’ll be able to get an idea of what it looks like. They’ll also get details on the nearby Robertson Brothers Homes project that will take up 10 acres of the former golf course.

Huhta also noted that a survey will be put out at the meeting and throughout the design development to gather data. According to Davids, the survey will be released online on Oct. 28 on the city’s website, www. romi.gov, and on the city’s social media pages.

“We still want people to be engaged, still give us feedback, but we’re going to draw a line in the sand. We’re going to collect all the survey results on Nov. 13, and that’s when we take it and start analyzing it,” Huhta said.

Huhta said they’ll be looking to do a presentation before the City Commission by the end of November to let them know the results of the survey and what people are desiring. At those meetings is where he is hoping his firm can get some level of feedback as to what’s on the minds of commissioners, and then initiate the design process around the end of November.

“That design process will go probably six weeks before we’re ready to come back with a presentation of what we gathered out of all of that,” he said.