Parks and Rec ready for Riverfront renovation

Parks and Rec ready for Riverfront renovation

The Spokane Parks department is extremely excited about Tuesday night’s vote, as they’re moving forward with plans to renovate Riverfront Park.

The project is still in the concept phase right now, but with the go ahead given by voters Tuesday design will began with in earnest with groundbreaking as early as next year.

Riverfront Park, the gem of Spokane, doesn’t sparkle as much as it used to. What used to be eye-catching in some cases is now an eyesore, with some playground equipment not having been been updated since the mid 90’s. That’s all about to change.

“What we have right now in our master plan is a lot of concepts, about what uses will go where,” said Parks and Recreation director Leroy Eadie.

With the passing of the parks bond those concepts are one step closer to reality. But it won’t happen all at once.

“What people will see in the park next summer will be pretty much what they typically see in park, the same types of activities, same types of events and same types of attractions and rides,” Eadie said.

Construction won’t start until after Labor Day of 2015 but, the first thing people will notice, is that they will start to redo the Howard Street corridor which stretches from the butterfly pavilion all the way down to the fountain. One of the biggest changes you’ll notice is taking the ice rink, which is now in the pavilion and moving it all the way down to the east side of the gondola meadow. The carousel will be staying but getting a much needed facelift, same for the pavilion.

“Not completely settled on if we are going to put the traditional cover on the pavilion or if we are going to put a dome on the inside of it. I think that will really stand out to citizens,’ said Eadie.

Final design will pass through three citizen oversight committees: Travel heritage, Art and the Family and Accessibility Committee and, once shovels start turning dirt, construction won’t be finished until 2019, as construction will take place in a manner so that most of the park will remain open for visitors.