Improvements soon will start springing out of the ground at the city's Sesquicentennial Park at Clinton Lake.
Fred DeVictor, director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department told a crowd of about 40 people gathered Tuesday evening for a Friends of the Park reception that approximately $300,000 worth of construction work is set to begin in the next two months.
The work, to be performed by Lawrence-based B.A. Green Construction, will include a seating area, a parking area, a road, and about a 150-foot path made of stones commemorating the first 150 years of the city's history.
DeVictor gave the update as part of a recognition ceremony for the Friends of the Park program, which is a way for area residents to make monetary or in-kind donations to the Parks and Recreation Department.
In 2006, the program generated $254,380 in donations, with about $213,000 coming from donations that the Sesquicentennial Commission turned over to the city last year. A major part of those donations came from individuals who bought commemorative stones that will be placed at the park.
"We're really here to say a heartfelt thanks tonight," DeVictor told the crowd at the Lawrence Visitors Center in North Lawrence. "Budgets go just so far. What you do through this program to help us add a few extra things to our park is very important."
Several supporters of the Sesquicentennial Point project - located on a high spot near Clinton dam - were at the ceremony and said they were excited to see improvements being made to the area.
"It already is a beautiful scenic point in its own right," said Bruce Roberts, who was a member of the city's Sesquicentennial Committee. "We hope that it will become an area where people can reflect on the history of Lawrence but also envision the future."
Work on the first phase of the project - which does not include an amphitheater that organizers hope will materialize - should be completed by September, which is the tentative timeline to officially dedicate the new park, Roberts said.
Retiring parks director to have reception
The city will play host to a retirement reception for outgoing Parks and Recreation Director Fred DeVictor next week. The communitywide reception will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 15 at Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St. A short program will begin at approximately 5:10 p.m.DeVictor earlier this year announced that we would retire from the department after serving as its director since 1975.