Plans for park improvements scaled back

By Patrick Fisher

The New Prague Park Board held a special meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 17, at New Prague City Hall to discuss plans for a referendum for an athletic complex and the redevelopment of Memorial Park.

After looking at a larger project, the Park Board decided to go with smaller areas for development of an athletic complex southwest of the current city limits and redevelopment of Memorial Park. The plans for the athletic complex now call for it to be done in one phase and to cover 40 acres. The new plans include an adult/Babe Ruth baseball field, four adult/youth softball fields, two full-sized soccer fields and an open fence baseball field that would also be part of a multi-purpose field. Dropped from the plan were at least four more soccer fields, a skate park and ice rink.

Original plans for Memorial Park called for the redevelopment of the entire park They have been scaled back to include just the western portion of the park. The eastern portion, including the picnic area, baseball field, community pool and the area around the old armory (currently the school district office) were put on the shelf until a later date.

The scaled down plans include a walking trail, a formal pedestrian entrance from Main Street that will line up with Pershing Avenue, a pergola, a covered walkway near First Street SE, a bandshell, a ball field, more parking at the library and street improvements in the area of the Park Ballroom and New Prague Golf Club.

Both plans were trimmed down to reduce the costs for developing them. Earlier plans for the athletic complex had it covering a larger area, with development in two stages, each costing approximately $2.9 million. Plans for Memorial Park also called for vast changes at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. Costs are now estimated at $2.3 million for the athletic complex and $700,000 for Memorial Park, for a total of $3 million.

I think it needs to look good

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