Oakland Park is getting a new look, with the city presenting designs for its new public works facility, two fire stations, and community center.
The projects are a part of the city’s Comprehensive Facilities Plan, which is funded by a $40 million general obligation bond approved by voters in 2018.
“We have to get our firefighters into decent fire stations,” Oakland Park Mayor Matthew Sparks told the Wilton Manors Gazette. “All of our community centers are … beyond their expected use.”
The unveiled designs were new buildings for Fire Stations 9 and 20, the North Andrews Gardens Community Center, and the Public Works Facility, which will include an emergency operations center and a two-story parking garage. There are also plans to build a new library to replace the Ethel M. Gordon Oakland Park Library, relocating City Hall to Oakland Park Square, and also renovating Fire Station 87.
The library and community center will be built in what will be known as City Park. The green space will include a playground and splash pad, a butterfly garden, exercise area, basketball and pickleball courts, and more.
The design of the new buildings is being handled by Zyscovich Architects in Miami and the structures will follow the same design scheme, keeping the city buildings cohesive. Sparks said the commission wanted to be fiscally responsible while also keeping the character of Oakland Park.
“We’re trying to get every dime out of this $40 million bond that we can possible,” he said.
And it’s that bond that is making the projects possible during the country’s economic recession, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a press release from the city, Oakland Park City Manager David Hebert estimated that the projects will create more than 3,000 jobs locally.
“Our new buildings will be models of urban civic spaces that are sustainable, reliable, safe, and beautiful,” Hebert said. “While we remain in challenging times, future construction of these buildings offer several opportunities including lower interest rates and costs for building materials, and the creation of more than 3,000 local jobs created by private development projects planned in Oakland Park.”
The project is a part of the city’s 10-year redevelopment plan, which is expected to be complete in 2029. This will coincide with the city’s 100th anniversary.
“I won’t be seated then, but I certainly will be out there cheering it on,” Sparks said. “We continue to strive to make sure that our 100th birthday is something to truly be celebrated, with the completion of all these buildings.”
Rendering credit for pictures: Zyscovich