Plans are moving forward on three Neighborhood Works grant projects involving parks.
Miles Park, assistant director of parks, says several parks improvements are slated for this coming summer, including:
Sanford Park — The $200,000 grant (two consecutive years of $100,000 Neighborhood Works grants) calls for new off-street parking, a picnic shelter and a walkway connecting the park to nearby Battlefield Road. Park says the project, as bid, initially came in over budget.
“The Park Board is working with the City’s Purchasing Office, and the project contractor, on strategies to reduce cost,” said Park. “Assuming we can come to an agreement with the contractor, we will then be able to proceed with construction.”
Parks said he tentatively plans for construction to begin by summer.
L.A. Wise Park — The $63,000 grant calls for a new multi-purpose asphalt play courts, with basketball goals and stripes for playing basketball or pickleball. The project also includes new grills and benches, and corner markers to better define the soccer field. All these improvements are scheduled for summer.
The L.A. Wise Park project also includes connecting an existing walking path to the adjacent Bissett Elementary School. Park says the Park Board is working with Springfield Public Schools on that project, because the path would be on school property.
Grant Beach Park – Ball field improvements will be complete at Grant Beach this summer, including infield work on the playing field, and concrete pads for new bleacher seating and an overhead shade structure. Outside of the ball field, Park says bike racks, barbecue grills and picnic tables will also be installed this summer.
Unrelated to the Neighborhood Works project, recent improvements have come to the north end of Grant Beach Park. Thanks to a private donation from a longtime parks partner, the Park Board was able to remove the last remaining vacant house on Hovey Street in January. The new green space completes a school-park project that began several years ago, connecting Weaver Elementary to Grant Beach Park.