City cuts ribbon on new Millennium Park - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

City cuts ribbon on new Millennium Park

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Hundreds of people were on hand as Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach and city officials, along with volunteers, cut the ribbon to reopen Millennium Park on Saturday.

Despite the weather, families were eager to get out and see what the new park has to offer.

"We promised the day this park burned down to rebuild it bigger and better. Judging by the smiles on the faces of the children, I think we accomplished that," said Mayor Roach.

The park is the result of countless community sponsors and thousands of volunteers.

"I've seen people come up here and say I put that nail right there. So, it has a lot of meaning to us. Thank you! We love you and this will be here for us forever," said Kay Barnett, Rebuild Millennium Park Committee Chair.

From the swings, slides and giant rope climbs, the kids wasted no time exploring their new park.

"I like the park because it has holes and you can go through and play around like you are on a secret spy mission," said Logan Gomes, who is 7 years old.

"I like to play and hang on the monkey bars and the slides," said Braelon McCleon, who is 6 years old.

"I like the slide because it has loops and is just really fun," said Aaron Mansell.

Some of the new additions to the park include a fossil sand box dig and state-of-the-art splash park.

"I like that you can just play around and if you get hot, you can just come over here and kind of cool down," said Lane Hulsey.

Parents are also impressed. Not only is the park gated but it's also under 24-hour safety surveillance.

"I love it. It looks safer than the old park and I like the fact that the bathrooms are inside. And the kids look like they are having a blast," said Hope Clark.

Roach said there is still room to expand.

"We want the park to be able to adapt to growth and new play opportunities. We designed the park so that we have room inside and outside the gates to grow," said Roach.

The new Millennium Park, over twice the size of the original one and, like the first, located at the south end of Bord Du Lac Drive, is a premier playground destination that was completed in two phases. 

Phase I, a new playground designed by Leathers & Associates and built by over 4,800 volunteers during the periods of October 26 – 30 and November 2 – 6, 2011, was preceded by a community-wide planning and fundraising effort led by the Rebuilding Millennium Park Committee. 

Major components of Millennium Park – Phase I include: the I-10 Bridge Dueling Pistols; Pirates Ship; Eagles Nest Tree House; Borealis Rex; Rock Climbing Wall; Hazel the Steamer; Oil Rig; Major General Claire Chennault Flying Tiger; Arthur Stillwell Train; Cajun Cabin; Maze Bridge, Tunnel, Monkey Bars, Ladders; Spider Web; Tot Lot with Swings and Shaded Seating Area.  A rubberized surface runs throughout the playground to maximize safety, and the playground is for children of all play abilities.

Millennium Park – Phase I was a $1 million project, which included community-raised funds.

The following March, work began by the city on a second phase of the park. Major elements of Phase II include: a major shade structure at the new entrance designed to provide shading for patrons entering and leaving the area – with paving that incorporates bricks; an entry gateway to coordinate with the display area for existing and new donor plaques; security fencing surrounding the entire site with gates at the main entry and maintenance entry points for service personnel; brick paver accent areas; a grassy lawn area with benches and shade structure; a fossil dig pit with shade structure; outdoor seating that includes benches as well as picnic tables with either a shade structure or shade provided by landscaping; a new pavilion structure; seating and fabric shade devices giving patrons cover from the elements; and, a splash park which provides for a variety of water features for children and has slip resistant paving to go along with the nautical theme of the design.

Millennium Park – Phase II was a $2.5 million bond issue project.

The park will be open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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