COLORADO SPRINGS — Progress is moving forward in leaps and bounds in Panorama Park in southeast Colorado Springs.
The park is undergoing $8.5 million in renovations that started in May.
"I think it is pretty cool we've got renovations going on over here. I've lived over here for a while and seeing the park get an update finally is awesome," said Jalen Johnson.
Johnson says the park has needed some major improvements.
"It definitely needed work. There was a lot of dead grass, and we had a baseball field out here which was pretty nice. It had a nice little shade place but the park was vandalized pretty bad and it wasn't too attracting," said Johnson.
He's looking forward to the renovations, and some of the new features being installed.
"Over here I saw a little climbing way with a slide, just off observation it looks like it'll be nice. Just having something fresh will be nice," said Johnson.
The city says they are halfway through the construction process.
"We re-grated the entire site which is a big change. This was a really flat site, and now when you get to see the park you're going to see extreme typography changes. You're going to see everything from a climbing hill that will allow us to see the entire Panorama Park. The peak, views, and stormwater ponds that serve as bike trails and courses," said Connie Schmeisser, Landscape Architect for the City of Colorado Springs.
The city recently installed two basketball courts, a fitness zone, and an 11-foot tall climbing boulder designed by local youth and fabricated in Gunnison, Colorado. The boulder was donated by "The North Face," and is a one-of-a-kind natural-looking structure.
"The boulder has sculpted routes into the boulder so that you can try different difficult routes after you've tried easier routes and you work your way to doing harder and harder routes on the boulder. It also creates seating on the top so you can just look out and hang out with your friends. It also allows rollup opportunities for people who may be in a wheelchair. We have different ways they can roll up and grab onto the boulder," said Schmeisser.
The new Panorama Park will also feature a splash pad which will help conserve water.
"We definitely thought about water conservation in this park altogether. We thought about it starting with the footprint of the irrigation plan first, and everything we've done since then has Incorporated some level of water conversation," said Schmeisser. "The splash pad has a large tank that goes into the ground and all of that water is recycled through."
Schmeisser says community involvement with the park has set the tone for its future and the care will go into it.
"There is always going to be vandalism and people who want to put their art on different properties, but as long as we are making an appearance and doing our part to clean up, and look out for the park we have now is the best we can do," said Johnson.
The park is scheduled to reopen early next summer.