Construction steadily continues at River City Park – soon to be Case Community Park – and thanks to limited rain delays, it is right on schedule. The project has a one year timeline. Construction began this past fall, so it is scheduled to finish up in October if there are no significant rain delays. We spoke with Jeff Edwards, Parks & Facilities Manager for Sand Springs Parks, to get an update on the various projects at the park.
Edwards said one of the things he is asked about the most is the dirt work at the front of the park, visible from Wekiwa Road next to the Case Community Center. The dirt work is misleading, Edwards said, as far as projects in the that front area go. The majority of the park sits in a floodplain, and the floodplain area must have a net gain of zero in order to comply with regulations. So any dirt excavated from the area of the park that sits in the floodplain in order to put new structures in cannot stay in the floodplain area – it must be moved to the front of the park, which does not sit in the floodplain. There will, however, be a new and more clearly marked front entrance, including a median, landscaping and a curved sign.
Sand Springs Parks is partnering with Thunder Cares, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s community relations department, on a new basketball court at the park. The court will be located near the “Great Lawn” area. Thunder Cares has given a verbal commitment to Thunder-theme the court (called “Thundering Up” the court) and to be present in some way at the park’s opening celebration. Whether that means having players, the Thunder Girls and/or Rumble or the Thunder activity bus come up depends on the team’s schedule at the time of the park’s completion. Edwards noted that this would be only the second Thunder Cares basketball court outside of the Oklahoma City metro area. What a special honor for Sand Springs!
The “Great Lawn” area, modeled loosely after Tulsa’s Guthrie Green, will be a nicely manicured grass area with an elevated and covered stage surrounded by a concrete walkway. The walkway is started, and the area behind and on both sides of the stage is also started. There are large metal rods visible on both sides of the stage, which will become decorative tree silhouettes once completed. There is also irrigation and electric currently going in to support carnivals, concerts, firework shows and even events like Chillin and Grillin. Edwards also said six to eight foot artwork displays will be introduced in the park for the first time.
There is new roadside and grass parking planned for this area of the park. The bathroom facility in the floodplain is getting a facelift – once finished it will match the new concession building put in this past year near the new splash pad, Edwards said. In addition, wood fences will be built around the water treatment units. There are two new playgrounds going in near the splash pad. These playgrounds will be on turf, similar to the new playground at Ray Brown Park, and this turf will include sloped berm features. Edwards said turf is the parks department’s new standard for playgrounds. This entire area has been dubbed “Picnic Park.”
Edwards said the parks department does most of their own design work instead of contracting it out, and that everyone goes above and beyond what is asked, no matter the task, to give the people of Sand Springs the absolute best.
“That really is a testament to our department and how hard everyone works,” Edwards said.
As far as the sports area goes, Edwards said he often gets questions about the location of the new concession building. It is large enough to accommodate both baseball and soccer, and once all new fields are completed, it will be in between the baseball and soccer fields. The soccer area is getting new parking – no more gravel! And the baseball area is getting a new public entrance that will be more attractive to visitors.
Stay tuned with us for more updates throughout the construction process at Case Community Park. We are so thankful for our creative and hardworking parks department for making all of this happen!