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Panorama Park to undergo largest neighborhood park renovation in Colorado Springs history

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A local park in the Pikes Peak region is getting a major renovation.

Panorama Park is set to undergo the largest neighborhood park renovation in reported city history and will be highlighted with a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

City of Colorado Springs

The 13.5-acre space in southeast Colorado Springs, adjacent to Panorama Middle School, had only a very small playground, baseball field, picnic shelter and an unpaved parking lot -- all of which has been torn down in the past two weeks.

Now, much of the undeveloped land will be transformed into a newly renovated park.

City of Colorado Springs

“We are so looking forward to starting construction on Panorama Park," said Karen Paulus, the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services director. "This transformative project has already been more than three years in the making, and it wouldn’t have happened without the support of the southeast community, the vision of The Trust for Public Land and the generosity and belief in the positive power of parks from numerous private donors. When Panorama is finished, it will be a destination park where everyone in the city wants to play.”

City of Colorado Springs

The new Panorama Park will feature the city's third universally accessible playground, a skate park, climbing boulder, and even splash pads and multi-use sports fields.

City of Colorado Springs

The park will also feature a tile art mural comprised of more than 7,000 individual tiles made by community members. Combined, two mosaics titled "Sharing our Light" and "Stepping into our Power."

City of Colorado Springs

"And we did surveys and got more community involvement so that the community could, in fact, say what they wanted the park to look like," said Regina English, of Rise Coalition Southeast.

The renovation, expected to be completed early next summer, will cost $8.5 million -- around half financed by the city and the rest coming from private donations, a 2018 voter-approved revenue refund and other sources.

The park opened around 40 years ago but has not had the amenities available in newer parks that were primarily laid out by developers. The southeast side has little available land for new park construction.

"This park is warmer in the summer than other city parks and there aren't many trees here," said Connie Schmeisser, project manager for Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation. "That's why we're installing a splash pad and bathrooms, and why we're keeping the trees that are here."

The project developer is Timberline Landscaping of Colorado Springs, a firm with experience developing several city parks.

"We're having to change the drainage because the park will have so many different elevations," said Timberline CEO Judd Bryarly. "But the biggest challenge is communication, making sure everyone is on the same page."

Schmeisser said that Timberline installed fencing around the park entrances to keep it sealed off, and placed wood fencing on the backyard property lines of some surrounding homes to serve as courtesy privacy fencing.

Jared Cooper, a park neighbor, said that he's happy to see the renovation.

"That park had some shady stuff happening every once in a while," he said. "I'm really excited that the city is putting some money into it and developing it. Seems like they're really looking to take care of it."

Another neighbor said that his only concern is wind gusts blowing dust from the construction site.

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Shelby Filangi

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  1. The City parks can’t fix 1 old, historic stagecoach in Thorndale Park that only needed to be re-welded and have some parts replaced, but they can spend this kind of money on a total refurbishment of the Panorama Park? What kind of sense does that make? Aside from further proving that the city is in bed with the developers for major construction I can’t find any reason. Oh yeah, how much is the cost, that tid-bit of information was left out of the article.

  2. Maybe added since your comment but article says 8.5 million. Half from city and half from private donations and excess revenue voters let city keep. So more than half is coming from city since the excess revenue the city got to keep is also city money. I give it no more than 6 months before it is vandalized.

    1. THank you sir, I believe it was added after my post, but i may have missed it as well. I do not disagree with you about the vandalism. If all officers can do is go call to call rather than be proactive and actively patrol the substations area, then yes crime like that will never stop.

  3. I’m curious why this park was chosen from among the many smaller parks within the City that are in equally bad shape. It seems that spending this kind of money in a high crime area is throwing it down the drain. Or does that City think that the facelift will eliminate the incidence of crimes in that area?

    1. Well that side of town does need a decent park. My argument was not with the city for actually doing something positive on the SE side of town, but moreover the fact that this job will cost $8.5 million, whereas fixing the historic old stagecoach would have costed less than $100,000, probably could have been done by the people in the parks and rec department. They could have said it will cost 8.4 million to fix the Panorama Park and also fixed the historic old stagecoach for Thorndale Park.

      1. I believe the “historic old stagecoach” was actually a quite poorly made relatively recent reproduction, which is why it deteriorated so badly and was never replaced. It looked neat, but I don’t think it actually had any real historic value.

  4. People constantly complain that the city doesn’t do anything for the SE side of town, so here ya go! Maybe developers will start building, whether housing will be affordable it not is another question. Vandalism is everywhere. People don’t respect anything
    or appreciate anything anymore

    1. Don’t think there is such a thing as affordable, or low cost, anymore. I heard on a real estate program months ago tbat before even breaking ground for a new house you have $95,000 in cost just to meet different regulations plus the cost of the lot. Heard yesterday that the lumber shortage is adding $36,000 to a house. $131,000 plus lot just to get started. Only way to be low cost is government assistance.

  5. The City is trying to do its best improving parks. However, the southeast part of town is not the place to do it. Being a native and growing up in those neighborhoods, I grew up getting shot at and almost run over down there. In addition, anything nice in that particular area always ends up seriously vandalized. It would be best for the city to use the revenue and resources elsewhere to ensure longevity and a wise investment in our city.

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