This winter has been kind to Spokane Valley’s newest playground.
Construction at Discovery Playground, the “universal park” at Mirabeau Point has been moving on schedule, and a grand-opening celebration has been set for May 13 at 11 a.m.
“It’s been very, very smooth,” Mike Stone, parks director, said of the construction period during this mild winter. “We’re about 85-percent complete with things.”
The $1.5 million park – described as “multisensory” and all-accessible – has been under construction since last fall. Ginno Construction of Coeur d’Alene has been working ever since on Discovery Playground, which has been envisioned as a part of the revitalized Mirabeau Point since before Spokane Valley incorporated.
“Ginno Construction has really gotten behind this,” Stone said, adding the company officials would like to do similar work in the future. “They hope it becomes a niche market.”
The park, located near the YMCA and CenterPlace at 2426 N. Discovery Place, will provide accessible amenities for children of all physical abilities. Creative landscaping elements will include features like a “fossil maze,” “wavy walk,” “bighorn sheep challenge” and a “steelhead trout river bed.”
Since elements in the “playground” will be unique, Stone’s only real concern is that they could be an enticement for overuse – or vandalism.
“We hope people use it, but also take care of it,” Stone said.
Still, the high visibility of the well-lit area could prove to be a deterrent to would-be mischief-makers. Time will tell, Stone said, after it opens in the spring.
“We’ve got someone at (nearby) CenterPlace basically seven days a week,” he said. “And we’ve got security cameras in place.”
Due to the uniqueness of Discovery Playground, Stone is anticipating plenty of attention and – hopefully – return visits from recreationists throughout the community.
Discovery Playground was initially envisioned by Mirabeau Point catalysts Denny Ashlock and Greg Bever as a “universal park.” The Spokane Valley City Council was able to secure $800,000 from the state Legislature for the project.
The three-quarters-of-an-acre facility will be located near the Spokane Valley YMCA and Mirabeau Meadows Park along with the Centennial Trail. Amenities will be meant to evoke regional elements under the theme “Exploring Eastern Washington,” such as a fragrant herb garden, geological displays, mobility challenges, covered picnic areas and an “outdoor classroom.”
One new convert to Discovery Playground, Stone said, is his current partner in the public-speaking circuit: Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey.
“He’s very excited about it,” Stone said.
For more information, visit www.spokanevalley.org.
Make sure you check out the new outdoor play equipment at Discovery playground in May.