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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

As readers of this blog know I have been opposed to the idea of a temporary modular building (trailer) as our west branch library in Heroes Park. I and many, many residents of the Yucca district consider this an insult, as if that is all that we deserve after waiting 18 years.

After the city council acceptance of the Canvass of Votes I was invited to meet on October 7, 2016, with appropriate city personnel regarding the plans for this library. I had requested a meeting after it came to my attention that approximately $2 million dollars would be available for its construction and it appeared that the cost to build a permanent, phase I of a brick ‘n’ mortar branch library would be virtually the same as the cost of a modular building. My meeting with city staff confirmed that $2 million dollars would be sufficient for either a brick & mortar building or a modular building.

Based upon that information and learning that the next step would be to secure city council approval to move forward with the design, I requested that the design process incorporate plans for a permanent brick & mortar building as well as the modular design. The modular design had been directed by city council in a previous action.

I was successful in getting the design for a permanent brick & mortar included in the proposed city council action and on December 20, 2016, city council authorized the City Manager to enter into a Professional Services Agreement with Dick and Fritsche Design Group, Inc. (DFDG) to provide design and architectural drawings for the potential Heroes Branch Library, within Heroes Regional Park located at West Bethany Home Road and North 83rd Avenue, in an amount not to exceed $410,090. Here is the link to that city council meeting: http://glendale-az.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=2597&meta_id=55164 .

Below is the schedule of work.  As can be seen, it will be 9 months to create the design and construction documents. Although that seems to be very slow, in city terms, it is fast and being expedited. I will monitor the progress of the various steps to make sure the timeline remains intact. The next milestone will be for city council to award a construction contract to build in approximately September of 2017. I will continue to advocate for and seek acceptance from council for the permanent brick & mortar west branch library building. Knowing that the costs are virtually the same for either type of building it would make economic sense that a permanent structure be built with the capacity for future expansion. The library itself will be completed and open for business approximately August of 2018.

·       Notice to Proceed                                                                        1/2/17  

·       Program Verification – Site Analysis                                          1/2/17-1/13/17 (2 weeks)

·       Schematic Design                                                                         1/16/17-2/24/17 (6 weeks)

·       Design Development                                                                   2/27/17-4/21/17 (8 weeks)

·       Construction Documents                                                            3/1/17-3/31/17, 4/24/17-6/16/17

                                                                                                                (8 wks.)

·       Plan Review and Permit / Prepare Bid Docs.                            6/19/17-8/11/17   (8 weeks)

·       Bid                                                                                                    8/14/17-9/8/17 (4 weeks)

·       Notice to Proceed                                                                         9/11/17-10/20/17   (6 weeks)

·       Council Award                                                                                10/12/17 

·       Construction                                                                                   10/23/17-7/27/18 (40 weeks)

·       Close out – Occupy                                                                         7/30/18-8/24/18 (4 weeks)

·       Final Acceptance                                                                            8/27/18

I will also continue to advocate for additional elements of Heroes Park, also long overdue. Nearly every district has its points of pride from the Foothills Library and Foothills Recreation & Aquatic Center, to Sahuaro Ranch, to Thunderbird Paseo Racquet Center, to Murphy Park and the Civic Center. It’s time for west Glendale to have its major amenity and its point of pride completed.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        


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Pond construction begins

Posted by Joyce Clark on March 10, 2013
Posted in fish pondKoi pond  | Tagged With: , , | No Comments yet, please leave one

After we had massaged our plan for the pond and incorporated all of our ideas, it was time to solicit bids and to meet contractors. We decided that we wanted a large pond to be the focal point of our backyard. Our initial dimensions were to be 10’ by 20’ and an average depth of 3’. It would be the size of a small swimming pool but obviously not as deep. We also knew that we wanted a stream and 2 waterfalls.

We researched online to see what it would cost to build ourselves. We quickly ruled that out as the cost of supplies alone would run more than $10,000. Add to that labor costs and the cost of equipment to excavate and it became apparent to us, as retired folks, that it was more than we could handle.

I let my “fingers to the walking” via Google to find contractors in the Phoenix Metro area. I solicited a recommendation from a friend who also had a koi pond. I found that some contractors who advertised were no longer in business. There are not many contractors who do this kind of work in our area. Eventually, we met with four contractors and received bids ranging from $9,500 to $20,500. The discrepancy in the bid price was because of the materials they planned to use – everything from concrete to lined pond—as well as the “extras” they felt we should have.

We finally settled on a contractor in the mid-range and who fit our budget of $15,000 as a maximum price. The bid price accepted was $14,600. It included the following items (some of which we specified): pond with outside dimensions of 23’ by 15’(or about 7,000 gallons); pond depth to vary between 4’ and 2’ with an average depth of 3’; 8 large decorative rocks (boulders); automatic water leveler; fish cave; 33’ long stream; main waterfall approx. 4’ high and stream waterfall approx. 1’ high; 20 tons of dirt (most of which came from the excavation; balance was supplied by the contractor; relocation and replanting of some displaced rose bushes; 4 underwater pond lights with wire and transformer; 2 above ground spot lights with electrical and material; 7,000 gallons per hour pump (ended up with 2 at no extra charge – one for waterfall and one for stream) with all warranties on mechanical equipment, liner and lights; contractor had to leave one irrigation line intact or relocate; 6 koi fish and 6 water plants.

Excavation begins on the first day. Dirt from the hole is placed behind pond shape to create elevation for the waterfall and stream.

Pond Construction first day 1

First Day

Pond construction first day 2

First Day

Pond Construction first day 3

First Day






On the second day pond bottom is made smooth and level, plant shelf around pond perimeter created. Liner is placed, gravel placed in bottom and on plant shelf and first rocks are placed inside the pond. Once main pond elements are in place, water added to look for leaks or major flaws.

Pond Construction second day 1

Second Day

Pond Construction second day 2

Second Day

Pond Construction second day 3

Second Day

Pond Construction second day 4

Second Day

Pond Construction second day 5

Second Day










On the third day, stream shape is refined and completed. Liner,  rocks and gravel  placed in stream bed. Filter box for waterfall and stream placed. Electrical for lights and pool motors – 2 – one for waterfall and one for stream are constructed. Lines buried, connections made. Waterfall and stream output tested.

Pond Construction third day 1

Third Day

Pond Construction third day 2

Third Day

Pond Construction third day 3

Third Day

Pond construction third day 4

Third Day






The fourth and final day included relocating and replanting several rose bushes. Since the lights were on a timer set to come on in the evening they were checked the previous evening and worked well. Both motors had been running for 24 hours and there were no problems.  Site clean up was performed.

Pond Construction fourth day 4

Fourth and final day

Pond construction fourth day 3

Fourth Day







Time needed for construction was one week with payment made in three installments: one upon start of construction; one at midweek and one at the end of construction. We settled on the first week of March, 2011 as the confirmed date of construction. We were excited after all of our preparation to see our new pond become reality.

Our pond was up and running but very naked. Next up…plants and fish…