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Fort Tuthill County Park Master Plan
Fort Tuthill Quad Restoration
Fort Tuthill is a place of history and memories, both old and new. Named after General Alexander M. Tuthill, the fort once served as the annual field-training site for the 158th Infantry Regiment Arizona National Guard from 1929 through 1948, before being turned into a county park in 1955. What was once the site of national guardsmen training during the summer months, has since turned into the fairgrounds for the annual County Fair and a gathering place for many events. The site is in need of much repair however.

In 2002, Coconino County voters, through the County Parks and Open Space (CPOS) tax initiative, authorized the Parks and Recreation Department to acquire open space, develop parks, and make improvements to existing parks. The restoration of historic portions of Fort Tuthill was one of the projects identified on the ballot. You may be wondering, what’s the big deal with the restoration project? The $4.1 million restoration project illustrates the challenge of updating a park and recreation site while retaining historical integrity (Fort Tuthill Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places), all while remaining open to the public.

Construction is in multiple phases, and restoration of the Fort Tuthill Historic Quad will enhance existing uses and events, while growing the County Fair and other events. Serving as contractor is Kinney Construction Services.

The Fort Tuthill Quad Restoration project began in May 2016. First up, the demolition of the stage on the fairgrounds. We had some great memories of that stage, the Main Stage at the Coconino County Fair, but since it was old and dilapidated, it needed to be replaced. 

Next, work crews were on-site directing traffic as they saw-cut the roadway near the FUTS trail and the Cochise Ramada. They took down the tennis court fence, and work crews installed the storm drain along Fort Tuthill Loop Road with a concrete headwall reinforcement. They also constructed an access road and converted the tennis courts to an accessible parking lot to support the Fair and other events. 

Kinney Construction installed manhole covers, installed catch basins, and performed grade work along the new area that is an extension of the FUTS Trail. We see a lot of runners, bicyclists, and walkers using the FUTS Trail at Fort Tuthill, so this extension will be popular with them, as well as with people heading over to the Amphitheater to catch a show.

On September 13, 2016, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved the next phase, Phase II, of the historic Fort Tuthill Quad Restoration. Phase II encompasses a new surface to the historic Quad, home of the annual Coconino County Fair, that will consist of decomposed granite (DG) sections and concrete walkways. 

The walkways will feature chevrons, or insignia used by the military for rank designation, sandblasted into the concrete, thereby tying in the military history of the fort. The DG sections will focus future event organizers into areas where tents can be placed and tied down. Other features will include a courtyard green space and seating area, shade trees along the sidewalks, landscape improvements, lighting and site furnishings. Construction will begin this fall and into next year, with completion by next year's County Fair. 
Fort Tuthill Historic Quad Restoration
August 8, 2016 - Fort Tuthill Historic Quad Restoration, extension of FUTS Trail

 Fort Tuthill County Park Quad Concept Plan (Click image for link to PDF.)
   
Master Plan
The Coconino County Board of Supervisors (BOS) approved, on its first day of session in 2013, the vision and concept of the Fort Tuthill County Park Master Plan. Recommended by the Parks and Recreation Commission, the plan identifies the following development and improvement components: 
  • Infrastructure,
  • Campground,
  • Quad/events area,
  • Extreme sports area,
  • Park and picnic areas,
  • Parade grounds and arenas,
  • Equestrian stables and arenas, and
  • Trails.
Equestrian Event at Fort Tuthill County Park
The approved master plan is a result of over a year of public input process involving stakeholders, focus groups, Parks and Recreation Commission, the Board of Supervisors, and the general public. It is anchored on the following guiding principles: 
  • Position as a year-round facility;
  • Develop as a recreation destination;
  • Maintain the balance of natural area and high activity areas; and
  • Honor Fort Tuthill’s cultural and historic value.
 Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course
On March 22, 2016, CCPR staff and the design consultant held a workshop to update stakeholders and the public on the status of Fort Tuthill Historic Quad Renovation Project. Fourteen people attended the workshop and provided input on architectural details including possible interpretive signage, entry monument features and a memorial garden.

Check out the conceptual plans on the Quad Renovation:

 Fort Tuthill Historic Quad Restoration
Click image for link to PDF.
 Related Documents
 

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