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VARNEY PARK

North Chelmsford, MA

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Varney Park is a seven-acre public park with two ballfields, a castle-style playground, a bath house located above a public beach on Freeman Lake, and a non-useable basketball court. The entrance to the park includes a granite arched entry and stairs that are historically significant.

Places Associates, Inc. was retained after a competitive bid process to assist the Town of Chelmsford with the renovation to Varney Park. The park amenities had been allowed to deteriorate and due in part to vandalism, were not useable. The existing facilities and beach were not accessible to people with disabilities.

Places Associates, Inc. designed a series of accessible ramps from the parking area to the beach house and from there to the beach. A new set of stairs were constructed from the bath house to the beach as well. A new accessible, fenced, and gated regulation-sized basketball court was created using large-block retaining walls to accommodate the sloping site. Places Associates, Inc. retained the architecture firm of Haynes, Lieneck & Smith, Inc. as a sub-consultant to renovate the bath house in order to bring it up to code and repair the damaged exterior. A closed-circuit monitoring system connected to the Chelmsford Police Department was also installed to prevent further vandalism and off-hours use of the park.

The project was placed out to public bid and awarded to Ronald Marini Corporation of Newton, Massachusetts. They completed the reconstruction of the bath house and the construction of all of the exterior improvements, beginning September of 2015. The park is now fully accessible from the parking lot to the bath house to the beach. In conjunction with the Chelmsford Department of Public Works, the parking lot for the park was completely re-graded and re-paved. New striping, signage, and park rules were posted as well.

The park was re-opened July 16, 2016.