Powell residents could see construction equipment moving at the future Park at Seldom Seen this summer and kids playing at the site's soccer fields by mid-2018.

Powell City Council's Development Committee on May 2 reviewed a presentation from Meyers and Associates and POD Design -- two firms working on the design of the park.

The presentation followed the completion of 85 percent of the design work for the 23-acre site, which is located northeast of Seldom Seen Road's intersection with Moreland Street.

According to the consultants' timeline for the project, the city could advertise for bids on the project beginning June 1 with the hope of starting construction Aug. 1.

The full plan for the site calls for five soccer fields, two ball diamonds, an indoor athletic facility and a public-service complex. When a 2016 estimate for the entire project came in at $9 million, city officials decided to move forward with the park in phases because the city lacked funding for the full project.

The city currently plans to move forward with the first three phases, which includes a concession and restroom building, a playground, outdoor athletic fields and parking. The consultants estimated the cost of the first three phases at just shy of $3 million.

Megan Canavan, spokeswoman for the city of Powell, said the estimated cost and the schedule represent best-case scenarios and may be updated later.

Chris Meyers, owner of Meyers and Associates, said even with the phased approach, he thinks the park could attract a good amount of attention from contractors.

"This is a big-enough project (that) I think you're going to get good coverage in the bid market," he said.

Meyers said grass likely will be planted this year for soccer fields, but the city should not schedule matches on the site until at least mid-2018. He said two seasons of growth are necessary to ensure the turf remains strong.

"Once (the grass) is in, it's pretty durable, but you've really got to let it take root," he said.

A playground planned for the site will feature climbing structures made of natural materials, a slide built into the hillside, and a functional water pump children can use to fill a dry creek bed.

Jeff Snyder, Powell's director of parks and recreation, said he thinks the distinctive design of the playground will attract crowds.

"I really think the natural playground is going to be a destination playground," he said.

While a walking path is included in plans for the park, a previously discussed boardwalk over the retention pond and wetlands at the rear of the park has been eliminated because of its projected cost.

Multiple council members asked if an alternate design featuring the boardwalk could be submitted for consideration alongside the plan without the walkway.

"Without the path, it seems like the pond isn't part of the park anymore," Councilman Jim Hrivnak said.

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@TWGallick