Grandview Heights leaders have moved plans to add a natural play area to McKinley Field Park to the back burner for budgetary reasons.

But the concession stand at the park -- at the corner of Goodale Boulevard and Urlin Avenue -- still will be upgraded to enable cooked food to be prepared and served to spectators at Grandview Baseball Softball Association games.

The revised plans for what is expected to be the first phase of improvements to the park include updating the concession stand and adding restrooms and a storage area to the building, parks and recreation director Mike Patterson said.

Patterson presented the updated plan at the parks advisory board's Feb. 13 meeting.

A final design for the project is being developed, he said.

The concession-stand improvement project would not begin until July, after the 2020 baseball and softball season ends, Patterson said.

The original proposal for McKinley Field improvements presented last fall included the new play area, along with an expansion of the concession stand.

The playground project would cost between $400,000 and $500,000, Patterson said.

"The costs budgeted for the original project proposal were a little too much at this time, especially with potential planning for other city facilities," he said.

City officials are expected to engage in a design process this year to develop a plan for a new municipal complex at the southeast corner of Goodale Boulevard and Grandview Avenue.

The concession-stand project at McKinley would cost about $250,000, Patterson said.

"It's long overdue," he said.

Two unisex family restrooms will be added to the north side of the building, Patterson said.

The only restrooms at McKinley are in the shelter, and when an event or private gathering is being held in the shelter at the same time as a baseball or softball game, "there can be some confusion as to 'ownership' of the restrooms," he said.

The concession stand has a small storage area, but the expansion planned for the south end of the building will add 256 square feet of storage space, Patterson said.

Grandview Baseball Softball Association board member Rick Wilson said the additional storage space would be roomy enough to allow the group to store its equipment, including pitching mounds, bases and pitching machines.

The association now rents space in a storage garage near the park to house the equipment, he said.

Underground utilities are expected to be installed at the concession stand in the spring, followed by construction in July, Patterson said.

The natural play area remains part of the parks department's five-year capital plan, but it's to be determined when that project will be completed, he said.

The McKinley renovations will be the last in the series of improvements the city has made to each of its park sites, Patterson said.

Upgrades over the past decade have included the construction of the new municipal pool, the installation of a statue and plaza at Memorial Park, new playground equipment at Wyman Woods Park and a new fire pit and multipurpose building, among other projects, at Pierce Field.

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