Several Sioux Falls parks get renovated over summer

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Three Sioux Falls playgrounds will be replaced during the summer in Sioux Falls. Crews have already taken out the structures at Kenny Anderson and Whittier Parks. The play structure at Menlo Park will be taken out by Friday.

Sioux Falls Park specialist, Tory Miedema, said each year, some playgrounds are replaced based on their condition and age. It's usually around every 20 years. Miedema said kids can expect slides and platforms on the new playgrounds. But there will also be climbing features. Another feature the contractor has incorporated is being able to use the Biba app, which will give the kids a new game to play on their smartphone every time they visit the park. The new playgrounds are expected to be open about August 1st.

The playground replacements come as two parks are getting major renovations already in the city. Marion Park has been closed for about one week, so crews can continue work on it. It used to have the rugby field for players, but that is now getting moved to the Sanford Sports Complex. Sioux Falls Public Works is replacing many drains to help with issues within that neighborhood. After construction is done, there will be a new walking loop around the park and a new play structure.

"The actual park improvements will be done toward the fall-winter of this year, but we're gonna keep it closed until the following spring, just to grow turf since we took the whole entire park out," Miedema said.

Right now, Marion Road at 45th Street is closed to traffic. It's not expected to open back up until Friday, June 22. Miedema said the new park will not have a bathroom since it's considered a neighborhood park.

The other major park renovation is at Rotary Park. Crews are building a new space for that park on East 26th Street near Southeastern Avenue. The entire park is being mirrored on the west side of the Big Sioux River. This is all in preparation for a large road construction project that will start there next summer.

"They are building a parking lot for us, restroom, picnic shelter, playground. We will leave the existing amenities. There's also a pedestrian bridge connecting the west and east side," Miedema said.

The moving of the park to the other side of the river is because 26th Street is going to be raised 30 feet to go over the railroad tracks there. That will eliminate the current parking lot. A new lot will be built on the west side of the river. The new park on the west side of the Big Sioux is expected to be complete by early November. Road construction in that area won't start until 2019 and will continue into 2020.