City group to hold public discussion on new playground

MARQUETTE – Marquette’s Presque Isle Park Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting this week to discuss a new playground to be installed Presque Isle Park.

The goal is to create a new, inclusive playground in the park. The playground, which will have play areas for kids aged 2 to 12, will be completely accessible by children of all ages and abilities.

PIPAC Chairman Bob Chapman said the group’s goal was to oversee the construction of a playground that can be used by all children, regardless of physical ability. A child in a wheelchair, he said, should be able to reach any station in the new playground.

“We think this will be a destination attraction,” Chapman said. “We think that when the word gets out that there is a playground all kids can use … that will draw people to the island.”

U.P. Engineers & Architects, which has an office in Ishpeming, has been working with PIPAC since October to develop plans for the playground.

On Wednesday, UPEA will present plans for the structure, which will likely be sited between the Island store and the MooseWood Nature Center building. Chapman said he thinks it is very important to get as much public input as possible.

“This meeting on Wed will be our second – and probably final – public meeting,” he said. “Our intent here is to communicate with the public what we are trying to do with this playground project.”

Following the meeting, Chapman’s committee will prepare for a presentation to the Marquette City Commission later this month.

At that time, PIPAC will seek the OK to begin fundraising for a project that will cost about $300,000.

The long-term plan is for the new playground to replace the island’s current one, and the work will include parking improvements, gateways, fencing, seating and viewing areas and landscaping.

Chapman said the new construction should fit the theme of the island.

“We do not think the community wants gaudy, bright, garish colors,” he said. “We want colors that are natural colors and are going to blend in.

“We think the general theme of Presque Isle is nature.”

Wednesday’s meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Marquette Commons.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.