The new restrooms on the south end of Light Park are nearing completion, as are the restrooms on the north end. Although a contractor constructed the walls of both buildings, city staff will complete the plumbing work in order to cut down on costs.
L&T photo/Jessica Crawford
By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Leader & Times
The Kansas Sampler Festival will be coming to Liberal in May of 2012 and 2013, and the Light Park face lift has been thought out very carefully. Although the park will likely be finished in July, major landscaping efforts will have to wait until after the festival has occurred.
Public Works Director Joe Sealey said a lot of things will be tested and worked out this week.
“We are about 85 percent complete on the bathrooms,” Sealey said. “The big shelter is done, but we haven’t poured the floor yet. We have two mushroom shelters yet to go.
“The irrigation is probably 40 to 45 percent complete,” he continued. “I don’t know how many circuits it is going to have, but it will be all automated to come on. I am going to guess it will be 10 or 12 circuits – maybe more. That middle section, I think this week we will be ready to turn it on and try it. If it works OK, we will start drilling grass in that middle section probably by the end of the week. Then we will move to that east side and try to get it done. Then when we get it done, we will move to the west side. Hopefully we will be pretty well done.”
A parking lot will soon be constructed between Walgreens and the North Fire Station, Sealey said. He added bids will be taken for that project this week as well.
Despite construction going on all around them, members of the community have been utilizing the park and enjoying all it has to offer.
“The multi-purpose court, the skate park and the playgrounds – a lot of people bring their kids up there with a sack lunch and stuff,” Sealey said. “It is getting used pretty heavy.”
Although some of the work has been done by contractors, a good portion of the work has been done by city staff in order to keep construction costs down.
“On the bathrooms, we got a contractor to pour the walls,” Sealey said. “Now the rest of it, the plumbing and all of that, will be all in-house.”
Sealey said he expects restrooms, shelters and the parking lot to be complete by July.
Parks Director Bill Houk said the majority of the landscaping will have to wait until after May of 2013 – following the Kansas Sampler Festival.
“Basically, we really haven’t sat down to come up with anything yet,” Houk said regarding landscaping ideas. “We know the areas we are going to do. The reason we are not getting real big into it, like planting trees and stuff, is because with the Sampler Festival coming on, we need to have a lot of open space for tents and all.
“So, a lot of planting trees and landscaping, we are going to hold off until after the Sampler Festival,” he explained. “We might do a little bit around some of the restrooms and what have you, but the biggest part has to wait until after the Sampler Festival.”