Miracle playground

JEREMY WISE / DOTHAN EAGLE

Children climb a fixture at Westgate Park’s Miracle playground Monday.

Dothan residents could enjoy several new recreational facilities in the future, including a skate park, as Dothan Leisure Services officials plan to budget money for the fixtures.

A few groups have approached the city about the construction of a municipal skate park throughout the years, including in 2012 and 2017, according to previous Eagle articles. The city’s capital improvement plan includes the allocation of $800,000 toward the project in the 2024 fiscal year.

Dothan Leisure Services Director Elston Jones said one of the groups even proposed some plans and a location for the project. The project has not advanced due to other DLS projects that took precedence, Jones noted.

“Nobody said ‘yes’ and nobody said ‘no’,” Jones said in reference to the prior conversation about the project.

While city officials welcome a public-private partnership to help advance the project, current discussions assume the city will foot the bill for the project.

In the same year, city officials plan to revamp the Miracle Playground at Westgate Park. The playground, which opened in August 2010, provides a play area for those with disabilities but is open to all residents and visitors.

One of Westgate’s busiest attractions, the city’s certified playground inspectors perform weekly maintenance on the equipment – sometimes closing the facility for a day or two to address larger issues, Jones said. Playground equipment carries a certain life expectancy, which is why officials suggest allocating $600,000 for replacement equipment in about five years.

City officials also listed a $1.5 million project to replace the swimming pool at Doug Tew Recreation Center in the 2024 fiscal year.

A refurbishment of Water World will be the project with the most immediate impact to Westgate Park visitors. The city budget includes $2.7 million for the installation of four new slides and renovations of current facilities like the kiddie pool and concessions stand.

Jones said bids for the project will be opened within the next two weeks, and construction should take a couple of months. He added officials have already tackled preliminary tasks like taking soil samples.

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