New Paducah health park in the works - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New Paducah health park in the works

(Source: Paducah Board of Commissioners) (Source: Paducah Board of Commissioners)

The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance for a health park in the Fountain Avenue neighborhood.

The board met on Tuesday, Aug. 4 for a monthly meeting.

The ordinance is for a contract with Brandstetter Carroll, Inc. for the design and construction management of the health park.

Brandstetter Carroll will be working with Paducah-based Shawnee Professional Services on the project. The park is to be developed on the city-owned, 6-acre property bordered by Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, 13th Street, Madison Street and 14th Street.

The engineering services are estimated at $104,000, which the board said is 8 percent of the estimated construction cost for the park.

Currently, the board said the park consists of a large open area and the city's community garden. They say the vision is to create an outdoor health park with an open play field, a 1/3 mile walking trail, inclusive playground, an expansion of the community garden, a spray pad and outdoor area, outdoor fitness equipment and picnic areas.

They say in the future, there will be public restrooms, and the end of the park facing Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive will include retail and professional office space for medical clinics and related agencies with upper story living. The theme of the park is health living.

The board said it will provide a venue for area schools, the Parks Department and other agencies to educate the public about proper diet and exercise.

The partnership, called the Purchase Area Connections for Health, is working to create the park. It includes the core agencies of the City of Paducah, United Way of Paducah-McCracken County, Baptist Health Paducah, Lourdes Hospital and the Purchase District Health Department.

This summer, the board said the Rotary Club of Paducah announced its partnership with the project by working with the organization, Play by Design, to design the playground. Rotarians and hundreds of volunteers will build the playground and provide funding to buy playground equipment. Area children were asked for their input on the design.

The city has received the Investing in Kentucky's Future grant for the park, which totals $400,000, from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The grant requires a cash match of $200,000, which was satisfied through a 2014 Land & Water Conservation Fund grant for $75,000, it's cash match in the amount of $75,000 and donations of $25,000 each from the two hospitals.

 A fundraising campaign for the park will be held by partnership members to fully fund the park's construction. The board said, at this time, more than $600,000 is available to start the first phase of the park.

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