Fort Family Regional Park planning and design, Jacksonville, Florida

Project Summary

Hanson has been involved with the planning and design of the 23-acre Fort Family Regional Park at Baymeadows, east of I-295 (SR 9A) in south Jacksonville, since 2002. Hanson has administered the creation of this park in phases from the master planning level through final design and construction of various elements.

Services have included surveying, land planning, civil, architectural, structural, electrical and environmental permitting. The park’s amenities include eight tennis courts (asphalt and clay) with a tennis pro shop/restroom facility; four pickle ball courts; four lighted, multi-use play fields with a concession stand and restroom facilities; four lighted baseball fields with a scorebox/restroom/concession facility; a 5,500-square-foot batting cage; jogging trails; supporting parking lots and roadways; picnic pavilions; and playgrounds.

Initial stages included a series of public town meetings to gain approval of the conceptual master plan. Phase 1 was designed and constructed successfully. Work included all the initial site infrastructure, including potable water connections, sanitary sewer, drainage collection systems, roadways and electrical services. Other amenities included an entrance road connecting to Baymeadows Road East, restrooms, a playground, multi-use play fields and associated parking.

Phase 2 final design and construction occurred in 2018, with the tennis and pickle ball complex. Hanson provided final layout, design and permitting for the master permitted complex. Final design included layout adjustments, final utility adjustments and final stormwater grading and collection system design. Hanson also provided construction administration, which included irrigation flow analysis and potable water pressure analysis, responding to requests for information, reviewing change orders and conducting a final inspection.

The project team encountered challenges that included an over-excavation design effort related to unsuitable soil remains from the original site that was used for hurricane debris, as well as unique grading design efforts for the on-site baseball fields and kayak/boat ramp. 

In 2021, Hanson finalized engineering plans and construction documents for the remaining items in Phase 3, including baseball fields, a scorer’s booth/concession/restroom building, parking lots and a canoe/kayak launch area. A batting cage building, shade structures and an asphalt jogging trail were designed as potential add alternate items for the bidding package.

Hanson has worked closely with the local baseball club to coordinate the size and layout of the batting cage and field. The club wanted to replicate a miniature version of Fenway Park in Boston (the famed Green Monster wall) by having irregular-shaped outfields and higher fences to prevent home runs from line drives.