Some residents question need for Sayre Park enhancements
On Thursday night, residents attended a second community open house where a project consultant team unveiled enhancements possibly heading Sayre Park’s way.
“I hope that we are going in the right direction,” Project Consultant Pedro Campos said to the roughly 50 people in attendance at the community center.
Campos, a principal landscape architect and land planner with Zehren and Associates out of Avon, said that based upon feedback from residents, “the community really likes the park as is.”
With plenty of diagrams on display Campos delivered a short presentation, which zeroed in on the park’s four quadrants and the possible changes in store for them.
Wanting to open up more space, the Sayre Park improvement scenario called for the removal of the park’s gazebo.
“People like openness,” said Andrew McGregor with veraCity, a Glenwood Springs-based land use planning and project management firm. McGregor, another member of the consultant team, explained how residents were “loud and clear” about their desire to see the existing amenities within the park improved. Additionally, the plan called for adding another basketball court as well as more handicapped parking.
Based upon feedback from the first Sayre Park open house in May, as well as an online survey, park users wanted to see the sledding slope preserved. According to Campos, sledding remains the number one activity in Sayre Park during the winter months. While the preferred scenario kept the sledding hill intact, it did call for the complete removal and replacement of the park’s playground.
The new playground would include separate play areas for 3- to 5-year-olds and 5- to 12-year-olds.
Cheryl Cain, who has lived in Glenwood Springs across from Sayre Park for close to three decades, wondered why the park needed any enhancements outside of safer stairs and questioned the city’s spending priorities.
“It feels like we are spending money here and money there. … And, then when there are potholes we don’t have money,” Cain said following Thursday’s meeting. “I’ve lived across from the park for 28 years. I know about the park, but nobody ever came to my door.
“I just don’t think there is that much at the park that needs a lot of money thrown at it,” added Cain. “This is overkill. It is more than we need to do at that park.”
Perhaps the most controversial idea was the possibility of installing artificial turf onto the softball field’s infield. Campos explained that such an installation would facilitate other uses for the field other than just softball. The plan also called for dugout renovations and the preservation of trees throughout Sayre Park.
“We have heard loud and clear about the need for pickleball courts,” Campos explained. That being said, in addition to adding a new tennis court, the preferred plan envisioned converting an existing one into four pickleball courts.
Parks and Recreation Director Brian Smith said that the city and project consultant team were taking a “deliberate, slow and thoughtful approach,” to the Sayre Park planning process.
The project consultant team said that it was still gathering input from stakeholders ahead of going before City Council, possibly in August.
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