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Santa Ana residents, local businesses build Latino Health Access Park

Along with community members, McCarthy Building, TAYLOR and St. Joseph Health System are involved in the effort.

By Kylie MalstromPublished: January 06, 2012 07:30 AM

McCarthy Building Companies and TAYLOR, along with help from St. Joseph Health System, have begun construction of the Latino Health Access Park in Santa Ana. Residents of the densely populated community recently gathered for a celebration at the site of the future half-acre park and community center.

Latino Health Access leased land from the city to build the $3.6 million park. The first community-driven recreational and educational public space of its kind, it will be dedicated to promote health and wellness in an area whose residents often struggle financially.

McCarthy Building Companies, its design-build partner TAYLOR, and St. Joseph Health System have contributed more than 2,000 hours of architectural and preconstruction services. McCarthy will provide discounted construction services through its volunteer group, the McCarthy Heart Hats.

"Working with the community on this project has been most rewarding for our team," said Damon Barda, an architect with TAYLOR. “This celebration highlights the importance of recreation spaces for community health and wellness. It’s a core value of our firm."

Local families are functioning as the park steering committee, which has provided input about its design. The group plans to take a role in the facility’s maintenance and is raising funds to support the completion of the project.

“Seeing the trucks come in to make our park is a dream come true,” said resident Edith Melchor, a member of Parents with Green Hearts, which lobbied for its creation.

“This land is more than dirt,” said Latino Health Access CEO, America Bracho. “This land is the dream of 10 years for our community to have a place where our children can play.”

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