On the Boards

Breaking Ground: McClatchy Park


My 3 year old son was excited to go to the park until I told him the playground had been demolished. When I told him it was a groundbreaking and that there would be tractors there, he grabbed his hard hat and said let’s go mom!

Well I’m glad we went because the turnout was fantastic! Coupled with the preview to the Farmers Market in the park, many of the Oak Park residents came out to see the next big project intended to help revitalize their community. Thanks to funding from the California State Parks Prop 84 Grant program, the project not only aimed to renovate a playground and some park amenities but redefine a park once known as a place not safe to go to. It was quite exciting to hear all the support behind McClatchy Park and what a big impact this project will have on a community. Speaking on behalf of the project included Senate President Pro-tem Darrell Steinberg, Vice-Mayor Jay Schenirer, Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, County Supervisor Phil Serna, Director of Parks and Recreation Jim Combs, Michael Boyd, president of the Oak Park Neighborhood Association, and representatives from NeighborWorks Sacramento.


Stay tuned for the Grand Re-Opening of the 125 year old (1889 – 2014) McClatchy Park which will include an amusement park themed playground reminiscent Sacramento’s first amusement park Joyland and lots of other special elements that recall the attractions of old. The park will also include other modern play features such as a skate park, spray pad, and picnic shelter.

For more information on McClatchy Park Click Here


Melissa Ruth is a Project Manager in Rancho Cordova Office.  That cute little boy above is her oldest son. 


Outdoor Living Spaces: Avalon Morrison Park

Callander Associates closely collaborated with the architect and owner to create resort-style outdoor living spaces at a new 250 unit townhome-style apartment complex located in downtown San Jose. Our services included design of on-podium courtyards, private patio spaces, secured entry gates, entry icons, on-grade courtyards, and outdoor showers.


Selection of the exterior furnishings was closely coordinated with the interior furnishings to create a unified indoor-outdoor environment.  Furnishing styles, materials, and colors were carefully chosen to provide a richness of material and variety, without looking too coordinated or busy. Nana walls at the on-podium clubhouse seamlessly led from the game room outdoors to a seating area with barbeque islands, a built-in banquette seat, and outdoor fire pit.

The primary design challenge was to create comfortable, inviting outdoor spaces within a tight footprint while working within the unique limitations imposed by construction on a podium. Custom metal art panels enliven walls along the main courtyard and buildings, and provide a low maintenance but interesting visual focal point. Overhead festoon lighting at the outdoor living room and kitchen area provide a warmth and festive ambience to residents and their guests.


On-grade entries are marked by stone seatwalls set within striped plaza paving.  On-podium entries are marked by a stepped procession leading up to a lighted entry column which will serve as a visual beacon and entry marker both day and night. With two product types and development spread over both on-grade and on-podium areas, colorful planter pots located in strategic gathering areas help to visually unify the whole development.


Units are now renting, with construction completion anticipated by May 2014. Having seen the project through both the planned development permit and building permit phases, we are excited to see residents moving in and being able to enjoy the many amenities offered at Avalon Morrison Park.

Marie Mai, Associate

Vision to Reality: Passatempo Park, Dublin

There is nothing more rewarding, and stressful at times, than seeing projects under construction.  These projects turn into our babies that grow over many months, sometimes years, through the design process only to be built and released into the world.  The construction period is similar to giving birth in that expecting parents (designers) nervously wait to see their child (their projects) enter the world.  And yes, it can sometimes be very painful!


Well, Callander Associates has been participating in yet another birth.  This time Passatempo Park in Dublin is close to becoming a reality.  Having started and stopped a couple of times over the past few years due to the recession, the park is finally set for a winter grand opening.  This five acre neighborhood park will serve a newly constructed neighborhood providing a variety of amenities including thematic play areas, picnic and barbeques facilities, restrooms, large open turf areas, ornamental vineyards, seating areas, and drought tolerant landscaping.

Looking back Passatempo Park sure provided us a unique set of challenges including our first foray into creating a sun dial and the precision it requires to ensure that it will tell the right time, lengthy discussions on how to represent layers of earth on the seatwall faces around the play area, and use ability of fields sloping at less than 5% versus slopes greater than 5%.  As with any child there can be some growing pains over the years, but all those will be forgotten as the park opens and the children start enjoying the play area, families gather and have picnics, and the entire community gets to enjoy Passatempo Park’s many amenities.

Brian Fletcher, Principal in Charge & Dave Rubin, Project Manager


Hacienda Avenue Green Street Improvements: Bay Friendly Green Streets

The nearly mile long stretch of Hacienda Ave in the City of Campbell is currently a two lane, pot-holed expanse of asphalt paving, with some sections as wide as 70 feet from curb to curb! Long ago, the City recognized the opportunity to transform this asphalt stretch into a lively, pedestrian friendly space. The City’s ‘think outside the box’ mentality was put to use when they contracted with Callander to bring new life to the street!

The City envisioned a green street concept which would reduce the amount of paving while adding planting and street trees, effectively creating a linear greenway. The planting areas would also double as stormwater treatment areas for the entire project. Callander Associates came on board in 2011 and prepared visual simulations showing what the street could look like. These graphics were submitted with the City’s grant application to the State. Campbell was awarded the grant, which helped them become one step closer to making the project a reality.

Now in 2013, Callander Associates is working with the City again on the design development and construction document phase of the project. With the project now in detailed design, a number of complete streets concepts are being employed.  Some key project details include: flush curbs, which allow stormwater to sheet flow into bio-retention areas, expanded plazas at corner bulb-outs, shortened crossing distances, bike lanes, street tree planting within parking bays and educational signage. To further accentuate the project’s green features, the City will be pursing Bay Friendly and GreenRoads rating for the project. Bay Friendly principles are being implemented throughout the design including the use of California native and drought tolerant plant materials, organic mulch, fertilizers, soil amendment and drip irrigation. Construction documents will be completed in early fall with construction slated to commence in the summer of 2014!

David Rubin, Project Manager

McClatchy Park: Inspired by It’s Past, Building for It’s Future

Located in the heart of Sacramento’s historic Oak Park neighborhood, McClatchy Park is a beloved neighborhood space hosting a farmer’s market, little league baseball, disk golf, and many other active and passive park activities. Thanks to the recent award of a State grant, the City found themselves able to revive several of the park’s older, less used, facilities, expand the list of park amenities and upgrade many portions of the park’s infrastructure. Callander Associates is thrilled to be working with the City of Sacramento on this renovation project.

McClatchy Park is located on the site of what was “Joyland”, a turn of the century amusement park that included a zoo, carousel, miniature train and a wooden roller coaster known as the “Scenic Railway”. Inspiration for many of the park’s improvements has been found in the park’s historic amusement features.

The expanded playground facilities focus on a “Scenic Railway” inspired school-age play structure flanked by ice cream cone, popcorn and candied apple climbing features. Younger children will be able to play inside a fun house structure and a replica of the original miniature train while a zoo of climbable animals will await the youngest toddler age visitors. New park amenities include a carousel inspired water play area, a butterfly garden and a skate park which was designed, in part, through community outreach facilitated by Callander Associates’ team.

The park updates also include renovations to several portions of the parks infrastructure including upgrades to the park’s irrigation system to facilitate improved efficiency, replacement of existing park pathway lights with solar powered LED lights, and grading and drainage system improvements.

Callander’s services include public outreach, master planning, and design development. Currently, we are finalizing construction documents with construction anticipated to begin in the Spring of 2014.

Dan Miller, Project Manager

Iron Construction Headquarters: Innovative Reuse

Iron Construction Inc, is an innovative general contractor that wanted both a dog friendly and environmentally conscious design for their new Headquarters in Sunnyvale. Partnering with AAI Architecture + Interior Design, our team is in the process of creating a concept that includes a strong indoor-outdoor relationship with a modern central courtyard for working, socializing and entertaining.

This project includes the renovation of a tired tilt-up concrete warehouse building and the surrounding paved site. Major building renovations will include gutting the interior warehouse and adding a new façade on the front face of the building. Following LEED design practices, this renovation will allow for the re-use of the existing building materials in other parts of the new courtyard, and a reduction in the amount of impervious pavement. Additionally, the existing concrete wall and Spanish style roof tiles will be re-used as rubble to fill the gabion seatwalls on the exterior edge of the courtyard. The concept plan includes gabion seatwalls with locally sourced redwood caps, cor-ten steel gates, a courtyard wall with redwood siding, as well as water-wise plant material and a vegetable garden.

Construction is anticipated to be completed in September 2013

Matt Gruber, Project Manager & Colleen Salveson, Marketing Coordinator