The Parks and Recreation Capital Improvement Plan identifies the need for improvements to many of the Town's existing parks. Mitchell Gulch, Centennial and Plum Creek parks are currently in the park improvement process in order prioritize safety and accessibility improvements, life cycle replacement and enhance user experience.
These projects are funded through the Conservation Trust Fund (lottery proceeds) and Douglas County Shareback. Approximately $4 million will be available and will be dedicated to bringing existing parks to current standards. Available funding will be allocated across sites in accordance with needs based on the bids received.
Dedicated in 1976, Centennial Park originally consisted of the parking lot, pool, playground, horseshoe court and pavilions, all located on the lower southwest corner of the site. The upper tennis and basketball courts, paved pathways, multi-use field and overlook shelter were added a few years after the original play area. Although portions of Centennial Park have been improved over the years, the tennis and basketball courts have not had significant upgrades since their original installation.
Park improvement efforts will focus on the courts, as well as addressing necessary improvements to provide accessibility and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Specifically, areas of focus include:
- Tennis and basketball court surfacing and amenities, originally installed in the 1970s
- Court parking lot improvements
- Court seating opportunities
- Court pedestrian connections and access
- Landscape and drainage improvements
In order to address these life-cycle replacement costs, the Town applied for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant in October of 2021 and 2023. Unfortunately, other agencies/projects were selected for both grant cycles, so the Town is moving forward with a simplified renovation design plan in 2024 and will initiate construction in 2025.
As part of the grant application process a questionnaire was available for resident feedback for six weeks during the summer of 2023. Questionnaire findings are shown in the graphic below.
Mitchell Gulch Park
Mitchell Gulch Park was constructed more than 20 years ago. The park does not have a dedicated parking area and the playground must be replaced. The renovation master plan includes a dedicated paved parking lot, new playgrounds, fitness elements, a pavilion, an all-season restroom, added lighting, six new tennis courts with an additional dedicated parking area for the courts, a bike pump track and a permanent cornhole game area with seating. The park will also be updated to meet ADA accessibility standards, and the irrigation will be upgraded to improve watering efficiency.
In October 2022, Town Council unanimously approved a construction contract with Designscapes Colorado as the general contractor to commence renovation work, and the Town held a kick-off celebration. The park reopening will be phased, with the playground and restroom expected to open by early 2024 and the tennis courts and associated parking in spring 2024.
Renovation Master Plan
Plum Creek Park South
This 20-year-old park contains a playground, half basketball court and site furniture, all of which require replacement. Much of the park property was actually planned as a future school site. The Douglas County School District has not used the property for this purpose, nor have they released it from future consideration. This may limit the amount of funding that can be invested into the project. The property is also used extensively for walking and may have potential for a more formal trail system.
The renovation master plan was put forward and reviewed by the community with comments being taken into consideration prior to the master plan being finalized in the spring of 2021. Subsequently, shortly thereafter the Parks Department was contacted by residents of the Plum Creek community and asked to consider switching out the nature-oriented design for a more traditional playground concept. The department worked with the designer on a revised park playground option.
A new contract with DHM was approved to create the construction drawings, specifications and bid documents for the renovation and plans have been submitted to Development Services for approval.
Renovation Master Plan
Although construction activity at Mitchell Gulch Park will continue into the summer, phase one of the renovation is now complete. The playgrounds, fit course, pavilion, cornhole and basketball court are complete and open for use. The opening of the restroom is delayed due to some plumbing damage from the freezing temperatures earlier this year. Looking ahead, an acrylic top coat will be applied to the new tennis courts. Completion of the associated parking lot, installation of the new BMX pump track and landscaping will be added this spring as temperatures allow. Once completed, the Town looks forward to celebrating and sharing the project with the community this summer, including the addition of the first-class tennis court facility that will be available for programmed and drop-in use. Learn more about project updates and grand opening plans at CRgov.com/ParkImprovements.
Updated Feb. 15, 2024