Dolores Park’s renovation has been plagued by delays and unforeseen roadblocks that include costly vandalism, but nothing on the scale of what happened this weekend. Recreation and Parks Department director Phil Ginsburg reported Thursday that two young vandals (“two idiots,” he called them) broke into the construction site on the north end of Dolores Park, hot-wired a construction vehicle, did some donuts on sod turf and popped wheelies on some uncured pavement.
The ride not only destroyed the sod, which had not rooted yet, but also damaged some of the newly installed drainage infrastructure. The vandals also tagged a new maintenance shed and then lit a fire to roast marshmallows and make s’mores they had brought with them.
Following the incident, Ginsberg said police arrested the two vandals, one a juvenile and the other not much older than 18.
Ginsberg made the comments at a press roundtable this morning, though he reported the incident to KTVU yesterday. The damage comes to about $100,000, which Dolores Park Project Manager Jacob Gilchrist said will either be covered by the contractor’s insurance company or by the contractor itself.
“These contracts have very complex schedules of when to sequence the work, and something like this just throws a major wrench into all of that construction,” Gilchrist said.
Before the costly joyride, the park department had planned to re-open the north side of the park by mid April. The substantial damage, however, delayed the project by several weeks, since the sod will need to be reinstalled and will need time to grow roots. Gilchrist explained the park’s completed renovation, originally slated for June 2015, is now expected sometime in “the late fall.”
“We’re building a twenty million dollar park for you, just enjoy it!” Ginsberg said.