WENATCHEE — As one park project wraps up, others are in the works.
Several of the city’s parks are being renovated, including Hale, Kiwanis Methow and Lincoln. A ribbon-cutting took place Wednesday to mark a year-long process of improving Rotary Park.
At Hale Park, 720 S. Worthen St., crews last month began pouring concrete for a skate park that’s expected to be completed by the end of August. Other improvements — including play equipment, a picnic shelter, restrooms and landscaping — are planned for next year. Check out our report here: wwrld.us/halepark.
Here’s how the other projects are going:
Kiwanis Methow Park
Groundbreaking took place in May for this approximately $2.7 million project, expected to be completed in October. Summer thunderstorms put the crew about a week behind, said Dave Erickson, the city’s parks, recreation and cultural services director.
Erickson said the renovated park, 420 Methow St., will have three tiers. It’ll include a half basketball court with skate features, turf soccer field, expanded playground with shades, a pavilion known as a kiosko, new restrooms, a market plaza and community garden. The wading pool will remain.
“There have been a lot of park improvement projects down in that half of town over the last few years and upcoming,” Erickson said. “That section of town’s going to have a bright, shiny, new neighborhood park.”
There will also be improved walkways, lighting and landscaping. Erickson hopes to have the park’s old light poles installed in Pioneer Park and its old shelter added to Pennsylvania Park.
The city acquired the park in 1933 and entered into an agreement to renovate it in 2016.
Federal, state and local funding are paying for the project, along with donations from a Trust for Public Land campaign. East Wenatchee-based KRCI is the contractor.
Erickson said surveying and a cultural resources assessment should be done in the fall, followed by engineering next year and construction in 2021. He hopes the project will be completed by fall 2021.
When the park’s done, Erickson said, it’ll have a soccer field, splash pad, pump track, new playground, second picnic shelter, new stage, new restrooms and safety fencing along Crawford Avenue. The current budget for the renovations is about $2.1 million, though that will likely change as the project progresses.
Erickson said the park, 1410 Mission St., was originally developed in 1969 and the restrooms, old picnic shelter and stage were built in the 1970s. The shelter was replaced last year and the wooden playground, built in 1995, will be demolished this fall to make way for a steel and plastic replacement that will be more open for safety and security.
“Those (features) have just kind of reached the end of their lifespans, so it was time to replace them,” he said. “While we’re replacing them, we’re bringing it up to current standards as well as adding in some features that the community has requested like the soccer field and splash pad.”
Parking lots will also be resurfaced and restriped to increase capacity, Erickson said, and the city is replanting trees lost in a windstorm years ago.
He said state and federal grants are paying for most of the project, which is also receiving city funding and support from organizations like the Rotary Club, Fiestas Mexicanas and the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
Renovations include a new shelter, picnic tables, expanded parking and landscaping. Rotary Club of Wenatchee, Wenatchee Confluence Rotary and Wenatchee Sunrise Rotary were involved in the project.
The park already had one large picnic shelter and several smaller ones. But Michael Kintner, president of Rotary Club of Wenatchee, said a single large shelter wasn’t enough to accommodate the park’s heavy use.
“I live very close by, so I can tell you just from observation that people are out playing basketball all the time and they’re playing Ultimate Frisbee,” he said. “There’s all kinds of activities until the park closes at night. It’s just facilitating even more use, and that’s good.”
The city owns and operates the park, 1810 Maple St. It also includes a playground, splash pad and restrooms.
Kintner said Rotary has spent over $119,000 on park improvements since May 2018. Erickson said the city of Wenatchee has also contributed $30,000 in funding and staff time.
“The city’s been really good to work with, and Rotary’s really appreciated that relationship,” Kintner said. “The park itself is kind of a gift from the Rotarians to the city, but the city has done a great job in managing it. It’s a real gem of a resource.”