New Northside Park Exercise Area Eyed In OC

OCEAN CITY – A new outdoor exercise area is in the works for Northside Park, as a final recommendation of a provider will come to the Mayor and City Council in the near future.

This week a large number of bid openings occurred for the construction of an outdoor exercise area, complete with fitness equipment, at Northside Park.

According to bid documents, the Town of Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department requested proposals from contractors for the outdoor exercise equipment at Northside Park. It is proposed to consist of a concrete slab, concrete walkway, poured-in-place rubber construction of an outdoor exercise surfacing over the concrete pad, installation of exercise stations and a shade structure system over the concrete slabs and site furniture.

Recreation and Parks Director Tom Shuster explained that the outdoor exercise area will be placed between Northside Park’s baseball fields and current playground.

Two concrete slabs with rubber surfacing will be built adjacent to each other for a multi-use exercise area, one segment will have nine specific pieces of outdoor exercise equipment and the other will be open for activities, such as aerobics. Both areas will be covered by a shade structure and the pathways to the areas will adhere to Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

“It might be something you might see at a health club or gym but it is specifically unique to an outside setting so it can withstand the weather,” Shuster said.

As the bid responses were read into the record, it became apparent that one low bidder, Play and Parks Structures, came in extremely low compared to the others at the price of about $53,500.

Shuster said the project will be funded by a grant received from the State of Maryland Community Parks and Playgrounds in the amount of $119,000. The portion of the grant not used will be returned to the state.

Shuster added that the low bidder’s equipment has not been reviewed yet, but there may be a reason why it came in so low.

“One of our specifications was that we were looking for a specific type of outdoor exercise equipment that met the criteria for durability in an atmosphere that there would be a lot of salt,” Shuster said. “Not knowing what the low bidder’s equipment is there is reason why we need to review it. It could be what they want to put in will not meet our specifications.”

Councilwoman Margaret Pillas motioned to remand the low bid to staff for review and the council unanimously agreed in a 6-0 vote with Councilman Joe Hall absent.