KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville City Council members approved more than $770,000 of funding for upgrades at five city parks at Tuesday night’s meeting. The parks that will get some of that money include Paul Hogue Park, the Inskip Norwood Recreation Center Park, Ashley Nicole Dream Playground, Skyline Park and Fountain City Park.
WATE 6 On Your Side spoke with people at Fountain City Park Wednesday morning. “The upgrades that are needed are to keep it neater and of course the equipment,” said Susan Cox. Cox said she’d brought her children to the park, who are now in their 50’s, and now she brings her grandchildren.
A group of kids on the swing set expressed they also think the park needs some work. “They should repair the old things that people broke,” said 10-year-old Lily Keck. “And replace some that have been here forever,” added 9-year-old Alayna Keck.
City Council approved $274,314 to go toward upgrades at Fountain City Park. According to the Council Agenda, the money will be used to replace all park equipment with new and nature themed pieces. This includes the existing metal slides and merry go cycle. The park will also get a new play structure for three to five-year-old’s and another one for five to twelve-year-old’s.
The current swings will be painted. The existing ADA adaptive swing will also be replaced. An ADA entrance will also be added near the new adaptive swing and connect to the existing sidewalk.
“There is so much there in terms of equipment and safety issues, so knowing that that will get a big chunk of funds is huge for my family personally and I know my daughter will love it,” said Bekah Grace.
Grace is also the Vice President of Marketing for the East Tennessee YMCA. She said the upgrades for the Ashley Nicole Dream Playground will be big for their campers. “We’re so glad to see that it will be a little safer, have some new equipment and have some improvements to the existing structures,” she said.
More than $221,261 will be used to replace the surface of most of the dream playground. Some of the park benches will also be replaced. Other parks getting upgrades include the Paul Hogue Park with $24,508 coming it’s way, the Skyline Park with $78,284 and the Inskip Norwood Recreation Center with $178,298.
Grace felt this was a great investment into the community. “A park is something that’s free and accessible to everyone,” she said. “To know that families of all income levels can just come outside and get their kids active, a park is a perfect place to do that.”
The Parks and Recreation Director with the City of Knoxville said the upgrades should be complete by the end of the year.