Great Park Saves $5.4M on Design; Expands Park Construction

Irvine City Council and Great Park Board approve close-out of under-budget design contract and allocate savings to added new Park features and improvements.

Jun 18, 2010, 12:31 ET from Orange County Great Park Corporation

IRVINE, Calif., June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Orange County Great Park Corporation announced today that the Schematic Design Contract for the Orange County Great Park has been completed and closed out with a cost savings of at least $5.4 million.  This cost savings represents more than 12% of the total Schematic Design Contract.

The approval was part of several significant actions taken today by unanimous vote, representing the transition from design to construction of the Great Park. The joint meeting of the Irvine City Council and the Great Park Board of Directors also resulted in the allocation of funding for an enhanced parking and entry plaza as part of the Park's current development.

"The Corporation and Design Studio staff collaborated to complete this contract on time, under budget, and with an award-winning result," said Larry Agran, Irvine Mayor Pro Tem and Chair of the Great Park Corporation Board. "The City Council and Board actions today represent fiscal accountability and remarkable progress toward building the Great Park."

The Great Park Board also recommended the allocation of a portion of the savings toward development of a Nature Education Garden and rehabilitation of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro Officers Club. The project is the subject of an application for state grant funds, and is being pursued in partnership with the Discovery Science Center, Southern California Edison and the Great Park Conservancy.

"It's a great day for the Great Park, allowing us to move forward with significant partnerships and implementation of our Master Plan," said Mike Ellzey, CEO of the Orange County Great Park Corporation. "I look forward to a time when officers who served at El Toro can visit the O Club and Nature Education Garden with their children and grandchildren."

In other action, the Board recommended that the City of Irvine approve a master agreement with the Great Park Conservancy, which would make the Conservancy's the primary private philanthropy partner for the Great Park.

The Orange County Great Park, which is planned to be almost twice the size of New York's Central Park, will be a major metropolitan park and its 1,347-acre footprint is the focal point of the redevelopment of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro.  The Great Park built out to 27.5 acres and includes an iconic tethered helium balloon that rises 400 feet in the air, providing an aerial view of Park development.  A $65.5 million development plan to expand the Park to 200 acres is currently underway.  The plan will build out a core section of the Park for the most immediate and wide-ranging public benefit, including a sports park, agricultural area and an art and culture exhibition space. For more information, please go to

SOURCE Orange County Great Park Corporation