City leaders making final improvements on Soria City splash pad
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A park at the corner of Bullis Avenue and 20th Street in Gulfport has been sitting in limbo for months.
Target dates to reopen have been pushed back several times due to construction issues but now Gulfport city leaders have announced when they plan to open the Soria City Park splash pad.
A fenced-off lot full of opportunity is still locked off for public use due to construction problems.
“We’re wondering why the splash pad is taking so long to be built,” said resident Nay Boler. “They started on it like they were going to do it real quick and stuff but this has been going on for like a year.”
“We know the neighbors are frustrated, we know the kids are frustrated but we are too, but we are going to get it done,” said Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines.
Frustration is mounting and residents are asking what’s delaying the construction that started in February 2021 on the only park of its kind in the city.
“They came over here and they pulled some stuff and put some more stuff down, but there’s nothing out here. Right now, it’s real hot. The kids need to be out here now,” Boler said.
For such a small park, there’s a laundry list of problems, according to Gulfport city leaders.
“We had to take up all of the sidewalk. It was not ADA compliant. We want an excellent project. The contractor who was doing our concrete work subbed it out and we didn’t know it,” Holmes-Hines said.
City leaders now have construction paved out and plan to open the park on July 1 for children to enjoy.
“They’ll enjoy the heat, and the water, and Fourth of July but most of all, this is a walkable community. They will be able to walk in, get wet, have fun, go home, come back,” Holmes-Hines said.
City officials said a gravel parking lot will be added by the end of the week and hope to begin work installing permanent power to the pumphouse the week of June 24.
That same week, officials hope to complete the installation of a chainlink and wood fence.
Crews will also work to install a basketball court on site.
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