All projects are rewarding, though there’s something special about bringing a child’s dream to life. That’s what Granite’s Coastal team has done with their Chanticleer Park project, otherwise knows as LEO’s Haven. LEO’s Haven is Santa Cruz County’s first inclusive playground for children of all abilities. LEO is an acronym from the initials of the three children, Lauren, Evelyn and Oliver, of Tricia Potts who helped make Oliver’s dream a reality. Oliver uses a wheelchair to get around, and even parks built with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibly limited what Oliver could play on and with. LEO’s Haven is uniquely designed to provide all children access to the benefits of play. In addition to the play area, there is community garden, fenced areas for large and small dogs, as well as a pump track, and picnic area.
The project wasn’t all child’s play. Due to the heavy rains that saturated the site in the winter and spring of 2019, construction was delayed for several weeks, but the team made up for lost time. By the beginning of June 2019, the construction team received the thumbs-up from the geotechnical inspector to move ahead with grading. By September 2019, the playground equipment was installed, and construction of the parking areas was under way.
Concrete Foreman Enriquez Alvarez oversaw the concrete work—the playground foundation, walkways throughout the park, and the new parking lot with 33 spaces.
All the class 2 base rock under the playground and new pathways, the ¾-inch drain rock and class 2 permeable rock in the drainage bio swale, and the ¾-inch drain rock under the previous walkways is from Granite’s Felton Quarry, located just a few miles away.
Before the project opened Granite Project Foreman Jay Cooper shared his experience working to build this park. “The Granite team established a strong working relationship with the owner, Santa Cruz County Parks, from the very start. Our teamwork and support in working through any hurdles have been fantastic. There is a real sense of pride here, not only with Granite’s crews but from the neighborhood as well. I’ve been asked weekly when is opening day. This might be the first project I’ve been involved with that the neighbors were excited to see us show up for work every day!”
The park opened in January 2020 , much to the neighbors’ excited anticipation. For the handful of months that it was open, children and families took full advantage of this new inclusive facility until the park was ordered closed in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We look forward to seeing the park fully operational again.