A number of improvements are scheduled for Temple Park in The Acreage, an Indian Trail Improvement District facility located at 17180 Temple Blvd.
The playground and volleyball courts will close Monday, Sept. 13 for improvements, including a new, larger playground.
ITID Parks & Recreation Director Elizabeth Ricci told the Town-Crier that the work was approved by the ITID Board of Supervisors several months ago to be done during the current budget year.
“Unfortunately, with COVID-19, there has been a delay in equipment arriving and for the project to actually start,” she said. “We finally got the green light, and we’ll begin the removal of the old playground, and we’re also going to relocate it because the new one is much larger than the current one.”
Ricci said they will move the old volleyball courts to the other side of the park so they can put the new playground where the old volleyball courts are. Most of the renovations will be done in-house by ITID staff.
“We’re purchasing the equipment, and we’re going to be doing a lot of the work as far as prepping the site, removing the old playground equipment and moving the volleyball courts,” she said, adding that the new pirate-themed playground equipment and installation cost about $83,000. “It’s going to be like a pirate ship.”
ITID was awarded a Florida Recreational Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) grant of $60,000 toward the structure. She explained that the grant was just approved recently.
“It didn’t get approved until after the playground was already approved. What we’re going to be doing is putting up a shade canopy with the grant funding, over the playground structure once it’s completed,” Ricci said. “We’re excited about that.”
She anticipates that the park will re-open completely at the end of November or the first week of December. Other facilities at the park will remain open.
“We’re going to be doing it in different phases for different periods of time,” Ricci said. “Right now, as of Monday, the basketball and tennis courts will remain open, but we are also planning on doing some resurfacing on the courts, so at some point during the project, we will have to close those down temporarily, but only for a few days.”
She added that the new playground, for county permitting purposes, must be located a certain distance from the roadway.
“Where the current playground structure is was grandfathered in, so we had to find a new location for it,” Ricci said. “So, the volleyball courts are going to be relocated to the east side of the park and the new playground will go where the old volleyball courts were. When we remove the old structure, because it’s got such a nice shade area and tree coverage, we’re actually going to do a small picnic area and additional picnic benches and tables.”
In other parks and recreation business, Ricci said that ITID’s staff is gearing up for holiday events, including the popular Halloween event on Citrus Grove Blvd.
“We’ll be assisting with Halloween on Citrus Grove,” Ricci said. “We’ve already had our first meeting with the PBSO.”
She added that Citrus Grove Park will be open under ITID staff supervision during the Halloween festivities.