IRONTON, OHIO (WOWK) — The City of Ironton is continuing its push to upgrade its parks and recreation options.
The well-known local park on Etna Street is the latest project in the works in the community.
“This park was actually built in the ’70s through the urban development,” says Brett Thomas, public service director for the City of Ironton.
“I myself have been playing basketball here since I was a kid; I still play basketball here,” says Mayor Sam Cramblit of Ironton.
The park has been updated over the years.
“We have a skatepark here, we’ve also updated the basketball courts, new playground equipment was probably 12 years ago,” Thomas says.
Now, big plans are in the works to give Etna Street Park a fresh look.
“We are starting some improvements for the summer through the CDBG program—Community Development Block Grants,” Cramblit says.
Thanks to those grants, the mayor says the project is now more ambitious than originally planned.
“Originally we had planned on just resurfacing the pavement here to do some pickleball courts where our tennis courts were and also to resurface our basketball courts. We’ve come into an extra windfall of money—we appreciate it—from the county commissioners that was leftover.”
Now, Etna Street Park will not only get those improvements but also bleachers, new park benches, swings, picnic tables, water fountains, and more.
People in the area who regularly utilize the park say they think the planned improvements will be a great benefit to the community.
“I think it’s awesome. Anytime we’re putting resources into promoting the youth, getting them out and getting them involved, you know some exercise some physical fitness, some community connection, I think it’s gonna be great for their mental health for sure,” says Eddie Neel, youth programs coordinator for Impact Prevention.
“We just want to provide that quality of life to our citizens and give them something to do and we believe some of these additions like the pickleball courts will be able to attract here into the city,” Cramblit says.
The project has a price tag of around $140,000, and they expect it will be completed around Aug. 31.
This project comes on the heels of Ironton’s renewal projects around the Downtown Friends Splash Park.
Those are also expected to be completed by the end of summer.