More than a million dollars in upgrades and improvements are coming to Reynoldsburg's John F. Kennedy Park.

CORRECTION: The print and earlier online version of this story inadvertently misidentified council member Stacie Baker.

More than a million dollars in upgrades and improvements are coming to Reynoldsburg's John F. Kennedy Park.

City Council on Jan. 13 unanimously approved a $1.2 million project at the 26-acre park, 7232 E. Main St.

Council awarded a $1.1 million contract to Builderscape Inc. of Plain City for the work, which includes demolishing the existing playground and restroom and installing $253,000 worth of new playground equipment for children up to 12 years old.

It also includes $303,000 for a new, prefabricated restroom area and concession stand, replacing the facility that was "built around 1970, give or take a few years," said Donna Bauman, parks and recreation director.

New playground equipment aimed at accessibility and designed with special elements for those with cognitive and physical limitations will replace the current equipment, Bauman said.

The new building will include six restrooms -- two men's, two women's and two for families, Bauman said. It also will include storage space for concessions.

The work will improve accessibility at the playground by removing curbing and installing paths that connect the different play areas, Bauman said. Plans also call for the addition of eight benches, 19 trees and $2,300 worth of perennials, shrubs and ornamental grasses, according to information submitted to council.

Council also approved a $79,535 contract with EMH&T for construction management and inspection services related to the project.

Members of council said the work at the park was long overdue.

"When I take my kids to JFK (Park), I can see the wear and tear. It's time to replace the old and bring in the new," said council member Stacie Baker.

The park also includes nine ball fields, tennis and pickleball courts, a skatepark and a half-mile trail connecting it to Huber Park.

Those facilities will remain intact and are not expected to be affected by construction, Bauman said. Work is expected to start in March and take about six months.

Council also elected the following members to serve as committee chairmen for 2020: Baker, development, parks and recreation; Kristin Bryant, public safety, law and courts; Shanette Strickland, public service and transportation; and Louis Salvati, finance.

Council also appointed Baker as council's representative on the West Licking Joint Fire District board and Barth Cotner as council's representative on the Reynoldsburg Visitors & Community Activities Bureau.

The next meeting is 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at City Hall, 7232 E. Main Street.

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