City announces status of Millennium Park rebuild

The following is a Press Release from the City of Lake Charles:

The City of Lake Charles held a press conference today at the Millennium Park community-build site next to Bord du Lac Drive to announce the status of the Millennium Park rebuild project.

Mayor Roach said the community-build has been a "tremendous effort on the part of the community" and that it is an "experience like no other.  This is for the children," he said.

Kay Barnett, Rebuilding Millennium Park Committee chair, said that the first week of the community-build had over 2,000 volunteers.  "The community passion for this project is unbelievable," she said.

"This is definitely going to be a destination playground for the community," said Marc Leathers, owner of Leathers and Associates, the designer for the Millennium Park playground.  "To watch what communities can do when they team-up is incredible," he said.  "(The community-build) is a good time, so don't miss it.  We need people particularly this week."

Mayor Roach said that if someone has an hour or so they can come right to the community-build site, sign-up and help out.

Mayor Roach said that when the playground is finished on Sunday, November 6, the park will be open for public viewing.  However, it will not be ready for actual play activity until the concrete foundation has been covered by an approved safety surface.  "Our plans call for a four inch rubberized surface.  If a child falls he will land on a cushioned surface.  It will also be handicap accessible," said the mayor.

Bids for the rubberized surface will be accepted within the next two to three weeks, a contractor will be assigned the project and then the work can proceed.  The rubberized surface is expected to be completed in December and will finalize phase one of the project.

Phase two of Millennium Park will include a spray park with interactive fountain activity, similar to Adventure Cove.  There will be a grand entrance to the park with a covered area, park benches and two walking trails. There will be a secure fence around the playground itself and then another one around the larger part of the park, including the walking trails. There will also be concession and restroom areas.

The bid process for phase 2 construction is currently underway.  Bids are to be received in December and work should begin sometime shortly after the first of the year.  During construction the playground will be accessible but will also be subject to periodic closure to allow for the completion of the construction of phase 2 of the park.  The entire park should be open by June of 2012.

"We need this momentum to continue," said Barnett, "It's starting to hum and we want it to continue as well,"

"We want to make this truly a first class park for children and their families," said Mayor Roach.

The next community-build dates are this Wednesday, November 2 through Sunday, November 6.