Foothills OKs next phase of Clement Park improvements

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By Deborah Swearingen

The third phase of the Clement Park improvement project has been set into motion, continuing three to five years’ worth of projects at the South Jeffco park.

Construction on the third phase of Clement Park upgrades is expected to begin in late August, and will be completed in stages for minimal impact on the park.

Phase C, unanimously approved March 13 by the Foothills Park and Recreation District board of directors, will include improvements to parking and security lighting, the plaza around the picnic areas, lake water quality and the reservoir overlooks. Furthermore, it will add an irrigation system and update the entrance in the amphitheater area.

To cap off the project, a large, inclusive play area will be built in Clement Park. The arts-themed playground is designed to have a large climbing area shaped like a trombone, a sensory garden and other inclusive elements.

“Inclusive not meaning just wheelchair inclusive,” said park planner Sean Kitners. “That’s certainly an important part of it, but inclusive for everyone for whatever reason. If it’s sensory processing disorder, if you’ve got a mobility issue, whatever it may be, we’re trying to make it as playable for everyone.”

Foothills has just under $3.29 million available for the project and has budgeted:

• $289,202 for design, testing and permitting.

• $361,000 for ballfield lights project, approved Feb. 27.

• $2,339,148.73 for construction.

• $300,000 in contingency.

Jeffco Open Space built Clement Park in 1987 with funds from the county-wide open space tax. Two years later, it leased the park to Foothills for management purposes. However, in May, the county is expected to deed ownership of the land to Foothills.

The park borders the 60-acre Johnson Reservoir and has eight tennis courts, three playgrounds, four softball fields, 17 picnic shelters, seven multi-use fields, lighted trails, volleyball courts, an amphitheater, batting cages and restrooms.

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Follow her on Twitter @djswearingen.