Plans are in the works to renovate the playground and basketball court at Liberty Park in Spokane’s East Central neighborhood.
The project is a collaboration between Spokane Parks and Recreation, Hooptown USA, No-Li Brewhouse, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Spokane Arts, Spokane Public Library and the Spokane City Council.
The estimated $500,000 project envisions a new playground for children ages 2 to 12, an updated Hooptown USA basketball court with a court mural, lighting improvements, additional landscaping and irrigation upgrades. Cost permitting, work could also include restroom renovations.
Built on wood chips, the park playground’s current equipment include some slides and a mock school bus.
Parks and Recreation Director Garrett Jones said project developers are interested in making the playground more unique , having heard the demand across the park system for diverse types of play – like climbing elements or sensory equipment – along with more accessible surfacing.
The adjacent restroom shelter, an older structure, could use several upgrades as well, particularly with lighting and pathways, he said.
“This is an incredible example of a community coming together to make possible more than we could do individually,” Jones said in a statement. “Building on the momentum of the new library, a popular aquatic center, and connectivity with the Ben Burr Trail, Liberty Park is poised for revitalization and it’s made possible through this amazing partnership.”
Design is expected to wrap up by this fall, with construction completion estimated by late summer or fall 2023, according to Parks and Recreation.
Revitalizing the court and playground are part of the Liberty Park Master Plan, a document created in 2019 by Parks and Recreation in conjunction with Spokane Public Library. Jones said the plan has also identified space for multiuse courts.
The Liberty Park Master Plan and the updated Spokane Parks Master Plan, set for completion this summer, will guide the design for the playground and basketball court renovations, according to Parks and Recreation. Partners will solicit public input from community members, including East Central neighbors, students and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.
The work will be funded by a mix of Parks and Recreation dollars, federal American Rescue Plan Act funds as designated by the City Council and a $20,000 donation from No-Li Brewhouse.
“Spokane Arts is thrilled to partner on another colorful basketball court mural for the community to enjoy,” Spokane Arts Program Director Shantell Jackson said in a statement. “We can’t wait to hear the neighborhood residents’ ideas of potential themes or subjects for the art, and we look forward to working closely with the community to develop a mural design that East Central residents will be proud of.”
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