American Public Works Association (APWA)

The Surprise Farms Park Phase II Project was recently named a 2016 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The project is being honored with APWA’s Project of the Year award in the Structures category at a cost less than $5 million. This award honors agencies that include public structure preservation/rehabilitation, municipal buildings, and parks.

For 2016, the team of winners includes the City of Surprise, AZ as the managing agency; Haydon Building Corp, as the primary contractor; and Logan Simpson as the primary consultant, who will be presented with the award during APWA’s 2016 PWX Conference Awards Ceremony in Minneapolis, MN during August 28-31, 2016.

The APWA Public Works Projects of the Year awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, contractor, consultant and their cooperative achievements. This year, APWA selected projects in five categories in the Small Cities/Rural Communities area: Disaster/Emergency, Environment, Historical Restoration, Structures, and Transportation.

It was important to the City of Surprise, Ariz., that Phase II of Surprise Farms Park fostered a physical climate that engaged its residents. The park’s inward and outward design is one that instills community pride, encourages environmental stewardship, and exhibits a commitment to valuing each visitor. Through an extensive public process, the project team received input on the park program. The following activities and amenities were deemed to be critical for the city, Logan Simpson Design, and Haydon Building Corp to deliver the project under budget: park; skate park; splash pad; playgrounds with benches (2-5 year and 5-12 years); basketball court; shade structures with tables and BBQ grills; passive recreation (open multi-purpose lawn areas); restroom building; parking (46 spaces, including three ADA stalls); landscape and security lighting.

The design for the new park had already been condensed to a 155,826 SF footprint—a fraction of the existing 789,285 SF developed park site—leaving in-place existing sidewalks and adjacent retention basins and right-of-way amenities.

The team worked with the geotechnical engineer to review the recommendations for site preparation, as the existing onsite soils were clay and expansive, requiring extensive remediation and import to allow the onsite material to be suitable for use under sidewalks and structures. Haydon worked with the design team to develop a strategy to use a mixture of material from the deep cuts for the skate park, the onsite clay material, and some import material to cap the fill for placement of structures and flatwork throughout the park. Haydon also worked with the civil engineer to revise some of the grades around the basketball court to further reduce the import quantities required for the project. These import quantity reductions reduced the overall earthwork costs by 10%.

To strengthen the pedestrian-friendly design of the park, the new layout maintains access design with ADA circulation. The playground’s surface was installed with engineered wood fiber that knit together to provide a surface to cushion falls, yet firm enough for wheelchairs to access all of the components. The design and layout of the playground, splash pad, and skate park components are universal to the greatest extent possible to not functionally limit age groups, children with disabilities, or skill levels. The skate park design primarily provided gentle drop-ins, ramps, and railings for the progressive skaters while balancing the design with street-type spaces and terraced transition elements for both the beginner and expert skaters.

For more information on the APWA 2016 Projects of the Year, please contact APWA Media Relations and Communications Manager, Laura Bynum,, or call 202.218.6736.

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