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 The pavilion is erected and the foundation of the play structure is in place at Normandy Oaks Park, 4234 Delemere Blvd., near Crooks and Normandy roads.

The pavilion is erected and the foundation of the play structure is in place at Normandy Oaks Park, 4234 Delemere Blvd., near Crooks and Normandy roads.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik


Normandy Oaks Park construction resumes

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published July 7, 2020

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ROYAL OAK — For the last several weeks, construction crews have been back at work at the future site of Normandy Oaks Park, 4234 Delemere Blvd., near Crooks and Normandy roads.

The work, which was originally slated to continue this spring, was delayed due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order shutting down construction in the state. It resumed shortly after Whitmer lifted the shutdown order.

Crews are back in full force and have, to date, finalized rough grading, installed the first layer of asphalt to the parking area, installed drainage piping in the west soccer field, installed foundations for the playground equipment, and installed piping and foundations for the splash pad fixtures. Pavilion building crews also installed fixtures, flooring and electrical work.

“We are also excited to announce that Phase II of the park has been funded and is also under concurrent installation,” a statement from Nowak & Fraus Engineers reads. “This work includes the completion of the southeast quadrant of the park property, comprising of natural area/Oak Savannah restoration, installation of aggregate trails and a bridge feature interconnecting Normandy with Elks Park.”

Current work in the phase II area includes spraying invasive foliage in preparation for earth moving, according to Nowak & Fraus.

Work in both phases is anticipated to wrap up by December.

Royal Oak Department of Public Service Director Aaron Filipski said he anticipated a grand opening of the core aspect of Normandy Oaks Park — the pavilion, play structure and splash pad — to take place around Labor Day this year.

“We’ll get it done, even though it’s been slow to develop,” he said. “We have all the equipment at the site, so we’re not waiting for supplies. Hopefully, there’s not another uptick of COVID-19, so we can keep the Labor Day date.”

Besides the delay due to the global pandemic, work on the park was also delayed due to an especially soggy spring last year.

In 2014, Royal Oak shuttered the city-owned, 50-acre Normandy Oaks Golf Course and voters approved the sale of a 10-acre parcel to fund the development of the 40-acre park. Robertson Brothers Properties purchased the land to develop townhouses and single-family homes.

The city received approximately $3.8 million gross on the sale and earmarked $3 million for the park and the rest for improvements at the Royal Oak Golf Course. The city will be responsible for maintaining Normandy Oaks Park, which will be partially funded by taxes paid by Robertson Brothers Homes amounting to $150,000 annually.

The city announced last June that it was the recipient of an inaugural National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund grant. The $228,000 grant will help install stormwater management features such as bioswales and a detention pond and increase community-building and educational activities by partnering with the Clinton River Watershed Council.

Last March, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners also voted to allocate $1.1 million to fund phase II of the park, including $521,250 to finish the trail system, $276,320 for the nature area and $213,080 for the pedestrian bridge connecting Normandy Oaks Park to Elks Park.

Filipski said he is especially excited for the habitat restoration area. He said the design plans are comprehensive, as far as the detailed scope of native species of flora to be planted and the organisms and wildlife they are anticipated to attract in the name of conservation.

“It’s a really special place. This really is a gem, and once it develops, it will be a really unique destination,” he said. “Its own ecosystem will develop. To be able to take this land and reclaim it is amazing.”

He said he was also pleasantly surprised by the size of the sledding hill, made essentially of leftover material.

“It’s really impressive,” Filipski said. “The soccer fields will be usable probably toward the end of next summer because it takes some time to develop and be playable and durable. Next year, everything should be open and you’ll probably be able to walk through the nature area.”

For more information, call Royal Oak City Hall at (248) 246-3000 or visit romi.gov.

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