Consultant likes Big Toy

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(From left) Mark Caillier, Bill Hugill and Bill Lawyer share a laugh while looking at the Big Toy playground site on Tuesday. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

(From left) Mark Caillier, Bill Hugill and Bill Lawyer share a laugh while looking at the Big Toy playground site on Tuesday. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The Big Toy project is in good shape.

That is the assessment of Bill Hugill, a consultant with New York-based Leathers and Associates, the consultant guiding the community build play structure to be built at Keizer Rapids Park over a five-day period from June 10 to 14.

Hugill was in Keizer on Tuesday to look at the play structure site, meet with members of various project committees and to give guidance on what should be done over the next two months before community volunteers come together to build the 15,000 square foot play structure.

Project general coordinator Mark Caillier picked up Hugill from the airport on Monday evening and brought the consultant to the Big Toy site Tuesday morning. Hugill then spent the afternoon with members of the various committees before wrapping up the day with a summary meeting.

“Everybody is on track and knows what they need to do,” Hugill said following the meeting. “Mark has done a good job getting everyone going in the right direction. There are some groups that have a bigger job ahead of them, but that’s the nature of the job. Some of the jobs are huge.”

Caillier expressed confidence as well after the meeting.

“I feel pretty darn good,” Caillier said.

Hugill said Leathers will typically send two consultants to a build site, though there might be a third coming to Keizer in two months.

As various people gathered at the Big Toy site in the morning, Caillier emphasized the need to keep an open mind.

“We’re going to learn a lot today,” he said. “A lot of things I thought we were doing right were not right.”

Hugill started at the site by having measurements taken and stakes put in to mark boundaries, while comparing what he was seeing with what the drawings showed.

Surveyor Robert Hamman with Multi-Tech Engineering said it could take two days to get staking done before the build begins on June 10, which is a Wednesday. That led to discussions about how early work should be done on the site before actual construction of the play structure commences.

“I have laid out some play areas, but not one with this much detail,” Hamman said.

Hugill wasn’t just looking at the site to make sure everything fit. He was also deciding where other things like a pre-fab area, food and snacks, volunteer check-in and parking should go. The level of detail went down to decisions like how many portable toilets should be brought in as well as how many tents and what size they should be.

The five days of construction are scheduled to be completed on a Sunday, leading to Caillier asking if the structure would be officially open on that day.

“I would say you could do a soft opening on Sunday,” Hugill said. “You can have a limited opening on Sunday evening, for maybe an hour.”

Volunteers are encouraged to sign up for one or more time slots on the project’s website at www.keizerbigtoy.org, in part so the food committee can know how much food to have on hand. Dave Bauer, who is heading the food team, told Hugill the Keizer Fire District is being used as a base for the food.

“The number of volunteers you’ll have is a crapshoot,” said Hugill, noting many times volunteers will show up unannounced.

Hugill, who made the trip to Keizer as a replacement for injured colleague Doug Hanauer, briefed with project manager Kyle Cundy at Leathers about a week before coming here. A representative from Leathers was last in Keizer back in November 2013.

“This is about figuring out the logistics, where things will be and how to get things on site,” Hugill said. “My job today is to fill in people on what their job will be. Everyone has a lot to do. It benefits everyone to be prepared.”

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