Over time the city has collected a great number of parks and park-like areas all over town, which has resulted in a back-breaking struggle to sufficiently maintain all of them.

Over time the city has collected a great number of parks and park-like areas all over town, which has resulted in a back-breaking struggle to sufficiently maintain all of them. For the past few years, the City of Shawnee has been working out a Parks Master Plan to make significant improvements to a handful of its main parks while stripping away some high maintenance issues of the vast number of green spaces, in order to make its parks system more productive and manageable.

The improvements of the first two of the community's soon-to-be premiere parks are now on the verge of getting started.

Shawnee Director of Operations James Bryce said city staff has selected a firm for landscape architectural services — Planning Design Group out of Tulsa.

Other bidding firms were CLS & Associates LLC, in Oklahoma City; Howell & Vancuren, in Tulsa; Guernsey, in Oklahoma City; and LAUD Studio, in Oklahoma City.

Two parks — Woodland Veterans Park and KidSpace Park — have been selected to undergo the upgrades first.

“For the next few months citizens won't see anything happening in the parks, but behind-the-scenes surveying will be happening,” he said. “The design team, along with city staff, will be meeting and putting together the design and construction documents for each park.”

He said periodically through the process, as needed, there will be a presentation for commissioners to give input — likely during a commission meeting.

“When all of the design and construction documents are complete and accepted by the commission, city staff will plan the bid process to hire a construction company to do the renovations,” Bryce said.

From start to finish, he said the project is estimated to take a year to a year and a half.

Right now the plan is to bid out after the summer of 2020, Bryce said, but that could change.

“When we finish Woodland and KidSpace we will move on to a couple more.“ he said. “We are excited to be able to do this and to see what new and exciting things come out of it for the patrons that use the parks.”

Background

Bryce said during the Fiscal Years of 2015-2017 staff went through the process to develop a Parks Master Plan to improve the image and quality of the city parks.

“This Plan was used along with several public meetings to redesign six of our major parks,” Bryce said.

The parks on that list are Rotary Boy Scout, Woodland Veterans, Wiegant, Optimist, KidSpace and Celebration of Life parks.

Listed improvements to the parks include:

• Site grading, erosion control

• Parking and drive improvements, walks and paving

• Lighting, shelters, restrooms, pergolas, fountains

• Playgroups, spray grounds, sports courts and exercise equipment

• Site furnishings and landscaping

According to an agenda memo in August, the estimated construction cost is $2,551,720.

The project will be funded through the temporary half cent sales tax that the citizens of Shawnee approved, Bryce said.

Watch for updates.