Las Colonias Park construction in Grand Junction nearly done; grand opening planned for July 11
Grand Junction Free press
Completion of a first phase of construction at Las Colonias Park will be celebrated on Saturday, July 11, with a grand-opening event. It will kick off at 10 a.m. at the new shelter, which is located near Western Colorado Botanical Gardens and Edgewater Brewery.
“We will have speakers and refreshments,” said Traci Wieland, Grand Junction’s recreation superintendent. “It’s a fun day to tour the improvements.”
In July 2013, Grand Junction City Council adopted the Las Colonias Park master plan. It mapped development of city owned property from Fifth Street to the Eagle Rim Park pedestrian bridge in Orchard Mesa. Then Great Outdoors Colorado awarded nearly $300,000 for the project last summer. That grant, along with money from the Colorado Riverfront Foundation and others, funded a bathroom and shelter near the Colorado Riverfront Trail, along with expanded parking, lighting and trail connections. Colorado Garden Foundation donated $14,600 for landscaping and native plants. Phase 1 construction at Las Colonias cost $767,610.50.
“It’s awesome,” Wieland said of the newly developed recreation area. “In a month’s time it has changed dramatically. The parking lot has been paved and stripped. We are doing final landscaping, signs are going in, and we’re planting. Ever since construction started, we’ve seen an increase in activity. It’s really exciting to see people using the trailhead.”
According to Katlin Birdsall, Kannah Creek Brewing Company’s marketing coordinator, Edgewater Brewery has seen an increase in traffic that can be directly attributed to development at Las Colonias Park.
“We have a lot of guests that enjoy a bike ride on the Riverfront Trail or a game of disc golf at Watson Island and then head over to our lawn to play yard games and enjoy a bite and a pint,” Birdsall said. “ … We think we’ll see even more traffic from the Riverfront Trail once the connecting path to our back gate is complete this month.”
The proposed Las Colonias amphitheater is still being planned. It will be located directly east of Edgewater Brewery upon completion and host crowds from 500 people to upwards of a few thousand.
“We are very excited for the proposed amphitheater,” Birdsall said. “We think this will not only be a great addition for our community, but it will also increase awareness for this area of Grand Junction.”
Colorado Department of Local Affairs provided a $180,000 grant to fund the design phase. A budget is not yet in place to fund actual construction.
“We’ve completed a schematics design and we’re moving into design development,” Wieland confirmed, with a functional phase likely costing around $2.5 million. “Budget is always a concern. … We hope to apply to Colorado Department of Local Affairs [DOLA] for a development grant in December, which means we wouldn’t have any start to the project (bidding and such) until mid-year 2016.”
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