Visitors enter the park along a wide paved walk, with raised planters along the side for seating, Gilmore said.
"That will terminate in an overhead shade station that can also serve as a gathering space or amphitheater. There will also be landscaping and areas for sculpture, which ties into the public art initiative."
Decorative fencing will replace existing chain-link fence along the front of the park, while underground wiring feeds new light fixtures and LEDs on some of the benches. An entrance gate will close each night for security.
East End residents proposed a park at the site as early as 2004 during planning sessions for the East End Community Renewal Plan, Weintraub said. City Council formally adopted the plan in December 2005.
During another planning session held at the park site a year later, residents told designers what they wanted -- a sprayground, a skate park, playing field for sports, walking track and more.
CURA started buying up property in 2008 -- six parcels, five with apartment houses. The largest piece, a 1.4-acre open space called Hobo Jungle, took the longest because the property was tied up among heirs.
"It's taken all this time to acquire the land, clear the property and get all the government approvals to do this park," Weintraub said.
"The park will not be finished, but it will provide a place for children in the community to play safely, and a place for people in the community to gather. We fully intend to work with [city] Parks & Recreation and the YMCA to provide programming for that space."Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.