Drake Park currently is undergoing construction to improve several aspects of the land, including its parking lot and sidewalks, and the addition of sand volleyball courts that will replace the tennis courts.

Drake Park currently is undergoing construction to improve several aspects of the land, including its parking lot and sidewalks, and the addition of sand volleyball courts that will replace the tennis courts.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Farmington begins improvements to Drake Park

Updates include new volleyball courts, parking lot

By: Mike Koury | Farmington Press | Published August 25, 2021

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FARMINGTON — The city of Farmington has begun significant improvements to one of its parks.

The week of July 26, Farmington started construction at Drake Park for major changes and additions for the park’s landscape. This includes the removal of the tennis courts for volleyball courts, and the removal and replacement of the land’s parking lot and sidewalks.

The park project dates back several years to a millage increase residents approved to improve, amongst other municipal needs, Farmington’s parks. Through conversations with the residents, two parks were identified as needing updates: Shiawassee and Drake parks.

A unique addition to Drake Park will be the installation of volleyball courts. Mayor Sara Bowman said the tennis courts that previously were there were “extremely underutilized” and in disrepair.

“When we looked at the cost of renovating them back to their glory, it was really expensive, but one of the things that we learned during our parks and rec master plan preparation — as well as when we asked folks what they wanted at that park — sand volleyball really came up as something that Farmington did not offer,” she said. “So here was a great opportunity to use that space and really maximize the dollars and provide an amenity we’ve not had for years.”

Bowman believes there hasn’t been a sand volleyball court in Farmington in at least 25 years.

The other change at Drake Park will come in the form of the replacement of its parking lot and sidewalks. Department of Public Works Superintendent Chuck Eudy stated the parking lot was “beyond replacement.”

“The conditions didn’t warrant a resurfacing,” he said. “It warranted a reconstruction. We also had a lot of input from parents and from Longacre Elementary School of the need for sidewalk improvements from the elementary school over into the parking area. So that was driving the (improvement of) the sidewalk and the path from Drake Road all the way to the school property.”

Bowman said the sidewalk connector between the school and park was something the city had heard a lot about from residents. She described the sidewalks as uneven, with broken concrete, and parents had voiced concerns to the city that the sidewalks caused problems with strollers, wagons and kids riding bikes.

“Making sure that we had safe access and the opportunity for all types of mobility to get from the school to the park was huge,” she said.

The approvals for the park improvements came in June. According to the city, the goal is to complete the project before the new school year starts.

In addition to these updates, the City Council approved Aug. 16 a contract to remodel the bathrooms at Shiawassee and Drake parks. Eudy said the restroom remodeling will go through the rest of the calendar year.

“The residents asked for improvements to the park restrooms, both at Shiawassee Park and Drake Park,” he said. “One of the council members (Steven Schneemann), who is an architect, he designed some remodeling of the bathrooms.”

The project for Drake Park is estimated to cost $326,000. The restroom work at Drake and Shiawassee is contracted for $328,000

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