Spokane parks considering Riverfront Park update

Published On: Jun 01 2012 12:03:00 AM PDT
Spokane parks considering Riverfront Park update
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Major changes could be coming to Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane. The city held its third and final public input meeting on the new plans for the park Thursday.

Like many Spokanites, Gail Pratt enjoys Riverfront Park during her lunch, for exercise and her brain.

"It's a great place to come and de-stress," she said.

Pratt has walked the pathways for 10 years at the park, through snow and sun. She says there's so many things to like in the park: the falls, the walking paths, the nature, and the birds. There's also a few hiccups.

"Sometimes there are little dips in the road or potholes. I call them walker potholes,," Pratt added.

The Spokane Parks Department officials said they couldn't agree more with Pratt. Director Leroy Eadie said the park is due for an update to give a refresh sensation, like the river that runs through it. 

"Were not trying to reinvent the park. It's a great place already. We want to make improvements, make what's there better," Eadie said.

The refresh would focus on cracked sidewalks and bridges, and clearing the path for the Centennial Trail. The clock tower wouldn't be touched, but a cover could be added to the pavilion's tent spine. A central courtyard would also be added near the IMAX theater.

"(The courtyard) It could be a great summer court for Hoopfest, (and it) could be a presentation place for other large community events," Eadie said.

Eadie estimates the overall cost would exceed $50 million and wouldn't come out of the city budget. It would instead come in the form of a parks bond, and likely go to voters in 2014 or 2015. It's all part of the city's for the park's long-term growth.

"The park is a place that our community will have available to us for the next 100 years," he said.

It's so people like Pratt can continue to enjoy their favorite part of Spokane everyday.

"You get out here and you can watch the river and see how powerful it is, and see the beautiful trees and the change of the seasons. It's pretty amazing," Pratt said.