Monday, April 03, 2006

Face Lift Under Way for Plaza Downtown

Face Lift Under Way for Plaza Downtown
By Tom Hall/Staff Writer

Tony Fazzari (left) and Carlos Gonzalez install a new surface Thursday at the downtown plaza. (Brad Zweerink/The Reporter)

Visitors of Vacaville's Town Square plaza soon will have a place to sit and some space in the shade.

A face lift of the nearly year-old plaza in the city's downtown is now under way, as crews fight through rainy days to replace some ground covering, install colorful concrete pavers, benches, and trees.

Terry Rogers, the city's housing and redevelopment manager, said Vacaville-based Fazzari Landscape and Construction is well on its way to completing the plaza renovation in advance of its mid-April due date.

The first event of the season scheduled for Town Square - the Middle Earth Fesitval - beings April 21.

"We're trying to get it done by then," Rogers said. "We didn't expect this much rain in March, but it looks like it will be done."

Town Square was originally due to be completed by November 2004. But several hold-ups, including the discovery of buried Native American bones and decades-old fuel tanks, pushed the opening back to May 2005.

But after a season of events in the plaza, the City Council in December decided to put a fence back up around Town Square in order to make $120,000 in improvements.

Mayor Len Augustine said the plaza's grand opening had to be rushed because numerous obstacles made it impossible to get the benches and trees in place with another delay.

"It got to the point where we wanted to get it done," Augustine told The Reporter in December. "There were things we knew we wanted to do, but we didn't want to drag it on for months and months."

One of the Town Square features being removed during the renovation is the pockets of decomposed granite that littered the plaza. In their place, pavers are being installed.

Rogers said decorative boulders and almost a dozen benches have arrived. A handful of table and chair sets have also been ordered, and will be in place within weeks.

Additional trees have been put into place.

Rogers said a second phase, which includes a restructuring of the plaza's water feature and improvements to the stage area, might be able to be completed before the summer.

She said contractors will try to work around the event schedule, which includes a number of regular concert events in the plaza, to get the work done.

Tom Hall can be reached at

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