Spray ground, picnic tables and more coming with $600,000 renova - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Spray ground, picnic tables and more coming with $600,000 renovation at Sheppard Park

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A spray ground, walking path markers, picnic tables, conga drum play area and other amenities are coming to Sheppard Park in the Russell neighborhood.

On Monday morning, the city broke ground on a $600,000 renovation project at Sheppard Park, part of the multi-million dollar Vision Russell Transformation Plan.

"I grew up when this area was really in its heyday," said Carrye Bowers-Jones, who said she grew up in the Russell Neighborhood in the 1960s when Sheppard Park was a popular hangout.

"There was a huge, eight-foot-pool here, and we all learned to swim here at this park," she said.

Over the years, the park has been reduced to a basketball court and a few swing sets, but change is coming. During Monday's groundbreaking, Mayor Greg Fischer and Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith were joined by neighbors and students from Roosevelt Perry Elementary School.

The groundbreaking was part of the massive Vision Russell Plan. It is also the result of feedback from neighbors. The renovations will include amenities requested by people who live and work in the Russell neighborhood.

"We heard loud and clear that there was a need for more recreational activities for children and families to provide countless hours or entertainment and fun throughout the year," Fischer said.

Spray grounds are not new to the city, but Josephine Smiley, President of Environs Inc. who helped design the new additions, said you can expect something different.

"This one is going to involved a significant amount of color," she said. "Other spray grounds have been kind of plain concrete, so we are working with making it a brighter, happier place."

Bowers-Jones believes this is the first step in returning Russell to the good old days.

"This was a community, especially up and down Chestnut, of professionals," she said. "Neighborhoods come and they go, and this neighborhood is definitely coming back."

The renovations are scheduled to be finished by the spring of 2018.

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