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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Park gets facelift – and more

Work begins on shelter, other amenities at Valley Mission Park

Steve Spady of Skyline Construction knocks down the picnic shelter at Valley Mission Park on April 13. “I wish they took this long to build,” he commented about the quick, 20-second demolition. The park is getting a new 2,400-square-foot shelter as part of a $156,173 project that includes new playground equipment, landscaping and lighting. The improvements are scheduled to completed by the end of May.  (J. BART RAYNIAK / The Spokesman-Review)
Steve Spady of Skyline Construction knocks down the picnic shelter at Valley Mission Park on April 13. “I wish they took this long to build,” he commented about the quick, 20-second demolition. The park is getting a new 2,400-square-foot shelter as part of a $156,173 project that includes new playground equipment, landscaping and lighting. The improvements are scheduled to completed by the end of May. (J. BART RAYNIAK / The Spokesman-Review)

Work began this week on a project to give Valley Mission Park a new shelter, playground equipment and other amenities to go with the new beachlike swimming pool that will open in June.

The $156,173 facelift is in addition to a $2.75 million project to replace the Valley Mission, Terrace View and Park Road pools. But the projects are color-coordinated.

Valley Mission’s new picnic shelter will have a green roof to match the new pool house roof “so it’ll all look like it’s supposed to be there,” said parks director Mike Stone.

He said the new metal shelter will have a wood laminate surface on the underside of its roof, overhead lighting and electrical outlets, but otherwise will be “pretty bare-bones.” What it will have in spades is size: 2,400 square feet, twice as much as the old wooden structure, enough space to accommodate at least 200 people.

“It’s going to be a very nice addition to the park,” Stone said. “That old shelter had seen better days, and the playground equipment was at least 20 years old. I think people will be very pleased.”

The playground equipment will include a couple of simple climbing toys and two complicated play sets with more bells and whistles than a fire engine. There will be slides, bridges, things to climb on, things to balance on, things to traverse hand over hand, some educational components – “a lot of stuff for imagination and play,” Stone said.

One play set will be geared toward children 2 to 5 years old; the other, to those 5 to 12 years old.

Skyline Construction of Spokane got started Monday by knocking the old shelter down with a nudge from a tractor.

City officials had worried they might have to scale back the project, but Stone said bids came in low enough to allow four optional items. Those included a sidewalk and security lights along the west side of the park, 10 new trees, a decorative shrub bed and an extra security light to illuminate the shrub bed.

In all, there will be eight new security lights and three new sidewalks.

Although new the shelter is expected to be completed by the end of May, park officials have been taking reservations for June 19 and later to allow a margin of error. If the construction proceeds as planned, earlier reservations may be accepted, Stone said.

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