Monday, September 29, 2014

Finally, Venezia Park gets go-ahead

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 10:55 AM

click to enlarge Mayor Bach shaking hands with third graders from Academy International School. - COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Courtesy City of Colorado Springs
  • Mayor Bach shaking hands with third graders from Academy International School.

In 2008, the city planned to borrow the money to build Venezia Park, because the city's northern neck of the woods hadn't been getting its fair share of park land. But when the economy went bust, the city abandoned those plans. Since 2011, the city has promised the park would be built, but it hasn't been.

Now, there's new hope that the 30-acre park, at 9330 N. Union Blvd., will get built. At least, the city hosted a kickoff for the park last week.

While the park was said to cost $8.7 million in 2011, reports the cost now is $9.8 million. Sources of the funding, according to $2 million from the trails and open space tax, $7.6 million from fees Briargate homeowners have paid over time, and $225,000 from a Great Outdoors Colorado.

Here's an account of the kickoff provided by the city:
The site of the John Venezia Community Park was filled with third graders from Academy International School on September 25 to celebrate the project kick-off of the new park. "This is a momentous occasion for the northern part of our city," said Mayor Bach. "It will be a place for family and friends to enjoy."

In 1978, John Venezia and Lew Christensen worked with the Urban Land Institute to develop a Briargate master plan that was aesthetic in design and functional for future growth. It was a vision of a planned community with parks and trails interspersed with homes and retail centers. The land for the soon-to-be Venezia community park was donated by Laplata with special thanks to the Loo family.

The park will have a ranch theme with elements designed to resemble what would be traditionally found on a homestead. Elements such as the homestead (picnic pavilions), the corral (playground), watering hole (spray ground), fruit orchards, and the range (sport fields) will take park visitors back to the time when much of Colorado was used for ranching. Venezia Park will also have the second Universally Accessible Playground in Colorado Springs.
See a rendering of the park here:

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