Starting May 17, contractors for the city of West University Place will begin renovation work on the 0.61-acre park, which includes replacing the existing play structure with a new ship play system and seahorse rider in a newly expanded artificial turf area that will include shaded sections. In addition, improvements also include removing the decomposed granite path and replacing it with a concrete sidewalk, which will be rubber capped to allow smooth travel for anyone walking or pushing a stroller.
Other new features coming to the park include two expression swings, new fencing and a drinking fountain with a bottle filler feature.
The West University Place City Council approved the Huffington Park improvements during its March 8 meeting along with a $200,000 expenditure from the Friends of West University Parks Fund, which will be used to reimburse the city upon completion of the project, expected by the end of July.
The land where the park now sits was first purchased in 1989 from the former JMH Grocery Store chain. Development of the park was completed in 1996 and named Huffington Park after a donation was made by the Joseph M. Huffington family. The park was then later developed in 2009, including fencing the entire park and replacing all amenities.