The basketball court and the tennis courts at Dickinson Park are scheduled for improvements this year.

The basketball court and the tennis courts at Dickinson Park are scheduled for improvements this year.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Improvements to be made at Dickinson Park in Royal Oak

By: Taylor Christensen | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published February 6, 2024


ROYAL OAK — Improvements are to be made at Dickinson Park after the City Commission gave unanimous approval to a proposal from the Recreation Department Jan. 22.

Superintendent of Recreation John Fedele presented an award of contract requesting that the City Commission approve Warren Contractors and Development to improve the Dickinson Park tennis and basketball courts.

Warren Contractors was chosen because of its previous success working on Lawson and Franklin parks, which included renovating the tennis and basketball courts. Warren Contractors was also the second-lowest bid, according to the proposal document.

“They were contracted to do other park projects in the past with similar scope of work,” Fedele said. “They renovated our basketball court at Lawson Park and renovated the tennis court at Franklin Park. The collaboration with them and how they responded to staff questions, along with their preparedness (...) really made them stand out to my department.”

According to the proposal document, “The recreation department has budgeted $200,000 for capital improvements to the city’s tennis court and pickleball court repairs/replacements.”

Repairing and replacing athletic courts is a part of the city’s strategic plan for reliable infrastructure and is in accordance with the 2023-2027 parks and recreation master plan. The conditions of Dickinson Park’s tennis and basketball courts are below average, according to information in the meeting’s agenda packet, making the park a viable candidate for improvements.

The initial plan was to install sport tiles for multipurpose use. According to Fedele, the bids came in at almost twice the amount budgeted, leaving the department to have to follow through with this project using alternate materials.

Four vendors submitted bids, and each submitted bids exceeding the $200,000 budget for this project by more than double, according to the proposal, and the alternate bid exceeded the budget by $100,000.

“We are going to be moving forward with all of the add-alternatives that would replace concrete with asphalt and then replace the sport tile with painting the court lines,” Fedele said.

The capital projects for the Recreation Department this budget year total $934,370, according to Fedele, and some of those projects had a remaining balance because they did not cost as much money as predicted. There are also some projects that have not been expensed.

To settle the difference in funds, Fedele proposed to postpone the Memorial and Worden parks irrigation systems and to use $12,000 of $75,000 allotted to the Upton Park soccer field development project. The remaining balances of two expensed projects adds up to about $73,000.

Postponing and using all those funds totals $175,611.91, which is enough to cover the extra $173,700 required for the Dickinson Park improvements.

The Memorial and Worden parks irrigation projects involve a system to prevent the hardening of the baseball diamonds, according to Fedele.

Commissioner Melanie Macey asked if the projects that are not expensed yet, and are going to be utilized for the Dickinson Park project, would ever be completed.

Fedele assured that these projects will be completed, stating that the irrigation project is “on the lower scale of important projects.”

The projects postponed will be finished within the next fiscal year.

“It all goes to the budget cycle, so whether or not that funding is approved during our next fiscal year will determine the time frame of when that project is completed,” he said.

Macey also inquired about the soccer field funds, asking what it means to take $12,000 from them. The funds for Upton Park would change from $75,000 to $63,000, and Macey wondered what the park would not be getting because of this change.

Fedele said that this would not change much and they would still renovate the field. He is also “confident we can get everything that we had intended.”

The Dickinson Park project is expected to be completed by June, and Fedele is hoping they begin construction in either late March or early April.