Wier Park Closes Today For Renovations

August 25, 2008

The Friends of West University Place Parks Fund, Inc. has announced its support to fund the complete renovation of the Wier Park playground system.

Wier Park is located at 3012 Nottingham (at the corner of Sunset) and is one of the city’s oldest neighborhood parks. The value of the renovations is approximately $156,000. The park will be closed beginning today, Aug. 25, through approximately Sept. 8 in order to install the new playground and equipment.

At Weir Park, Friends is funding the installation of a new Burke playground structure for 2 to 5 year-olds, a new Burke playground structure for 5 to 12 year-olds, a “Geosculpt” climbing rock, swing sets, park benches, picnic tables with several outfitted with shade canopies, and trash receptacles. The playground base material will be rubber mulch, which is made of shredded recycled tires. A West U. Park board member and his family have donated $5,000 towards the renovation, specifically funding a new overhead climber play element.

“The City of West University Place is very fortunate to have the Friends of West University Parks
working on behalf of the Parks and Recreation Department. This group of dedicated volunteers and their many supporters have raised over $3 million since the inception of Friends in 1987. Friends has exclusively supported the acquisition of park land and the funding of park-related developments,” said Tim O’Connor, director, West University Parks and Recreation Department.

Upon achieving its goal of raising $1 million for the redevelopment of the West University

Recreation Center – Friends raised $500,000 and the Lewis Foundation matched that amount – Friends reviewed and approved a five-year playground replacement plan that will begin in 2008 and conclude in 2012.

The playground redevelopment plan is the result of a combined effort between the following
groups: Friends of West University Place Park Fund, Inc, Friends supporters and benefactors, The Parks Board, a citizen reviews committee, city staff, West University City Council, and T. F Harper and Associates.

“As a long-time resident of West U., I am extremely glad to see the outstanding efforts of our
Parks and Recreation Department, our Parks Board, the Friends Board and the other supporters of our playground replacement plan come full circle. These groups have spent many hours coming up with a plan that will benefit all parks and neighbors. Each of our parks provides a special uniqueness to the West U. community which makes this ‘home’ to all of us. We are blessed to have so many who care and want to see this five-year plan come to fruition,” said Friends’ board chair, Joni Hruska Fichter.

Friends has received state and national awards in recognition of their efforts in both fiscal
and promotional support of the West University Place Parks System.

“The efforts of Friends have significantly improved the quality of life for many generations of West University Place residents with very few communities nationwide boasting such a benefit to an organization,” said O’Connor.

Improvements at other parks are in the works as well. At Whitt Johnson Park, Friends is funding another project involving the installation of a tree house play structure, which will be installed immediately following the completion of the Wier Park playground renovation.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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