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North County residents frustrated after error postpones popular park's reopening

Rolling Hills Park Closure
Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 14:52:42-04

[EDITOR'S NOTE - The story has been updated to include a response from Alec Phillipp, a spokesperson with the City of San Diego, about the reasons for the delay of the project.)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - Residents in a Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood say they are frustrated at the delays keeping a popular community park closed.

10News has uncovered that a key error by a contractor hired by the city is at least partly responsible for the park remaining closed past its scheduled reopening date.

When 10News visited Rollings Hills Park Wednesday afternoon it was empty, with the exception of one man walking his dog on the outfield of the park's baseball diamond, the only portion of the park still available to the public.

"Normally you'd expect this thing to be fairly packed," said Rick McElroy, who lives across the street.

The $1,500,000 renovation project began in August, 2018 with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Mark Kersey attending a ceremonial groundbreaking. The park will eventually have two new playgrounds, a rubber surface, and water fountains. Part of the money to pay for the project was raised by community members.

A sign posted on the fence currently surrounding the park indicated that work would be done by Spring, 2019.

It was previously reported that a source told 10News the contractor made a mistake while working on the park's draining system, which needed to be redone. But city officials say that's not the case.

Alec Phillipp, a spokesperson with the City of San Diego, told 10News that the city may be responsible for the delay. The project had to be redesigned after discovering that the location of an existing underground draining system was not where crews anticipated. The city provided the plans to the contractor, which did not accurately map the draining system.

Residents also cited other issues they have witnessed, including an accidental spill of sod for the park into the fence.

"I travel all over the world as part of my job and I get to see how construction is done," says McElroy. "And in other places, they've probably built skyscrapers in the amount of time it's taken us to revamp the park."

10News contacted the City to ask how long the reopening will be delayed and whether the cost for the delay will be paid for by taxpayers.

A City spokesperson responded that they would look into it.