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Fort La Play Porte will be getting a facelift

September 22, 2018

La PORTE — Fort La Play Porte may be renovated sooner than anticipated with details discussed at the Park and Recreation Board meeting last week.

The Park Department announced a plan to renovate Fort La Play Porte, located in Kesling Park, with a community building event next year between June 10-15.

When the park was originally built in 1999, it took more than two years from start to finish, but for the renovation project, the department has gathered the resources to expedite the process.

“We feel like we’ve got the money in place to do the actual renovation portions,” La Porte Parks Superintendent Mark Schreiber said.

Like the original building of the park, the renovation is planned as a volunteer-based project that will involve replacing some of the older, wooden structures with plastic and more durable structures. There are plans to install new swing sets as well as other playground equipment.

The Park Board expressed concerns that renovations are needed to keep the park safe and up to date.

“The goal is to increase accessibility, visibility and safety within the park,” Schreiber said.

The project has a budget of about $90,000. In order to stay within the budget, the Parks Department is hoping for a big turnout of volunteers. A steering committee will be formed to increase awareness in the community in the hopes of driving volunteerism – and donations.

The department is using a design team called Play By Design based out of Ithaca, New York. Representatives of the firm, along with Park Department staff, visited schools in the area to get student input and ideas for the renovation. Although many of the ideas suggested by the children were beyond the budgetary constraints of the Park Department, some showed promise, Schreiber said.

The most popular ideas were an obstacle course and a zip line in the park. The team estimates those structures would cost $40,000 to $50,000, and are not included in the $90,000 budget the Park Department is allocating for renovation.

While there are no concrete plans for the zip line or obstacle course, the department may decide to put together a fundraiser to make those items, along with others, a reality for the park.

Anyone interested in volunteeringfor the project can visit the La Porte Park and Recreation Department Facebook page, or email Schreiber at mschreiber@cityoflaporte.com.

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