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Jesse Owens Park makeover nearly complete

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jun 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 01:31:54-04

It's been more than a year in the making, but Jesse Owens Park on Tucson's east side is nearly complete. While some parts are fenced off and still being renovated, much of the park has come back to life, like the baseball and softball fields. 

Debi Beatty, who's son plays on the field, feels that he can now play safely.

"They can play on that field without falling in holes," she said. "It's great."

About a year ago, Beatty approached her City Council representative, Ward 2's Paul Cunningham, and KGUN9 On Your Side, explaining she felt that the park was in a state of disrepair. Soon afterwards, the park began to transform.

But this past April, well into renovations, Beatty didn't think the park would be ready for the summertime.

"No," she said. "No. Not at all."

But now, with much of it usable, she's on board and pleased with the progress.

"They're really kicking some booty out here," Beatty said. "I mean, look at the fields, they're awesome."

Cunningham says this project was long overdue.

"It's really coming together," he said. "There's no use in having a park if no one is going to use it."

Once all of the pieces are complete, including the pool, parking lot, and basketball court, Cunningham has high hopes for the future of Jesse Owens Park. That being said, he is asking people in the area to be patient and stick to the parts that are totally complete for now, so that the grass will grow in well.

"Try to curb that use just a little bit longer, as the monsoon comes in and we get the benefit of the rain," Cunningham said. "When we do re-open we'll have a lush, green park. I'm really excited about it and I think so is the neighborhood."

The City Council member explained the nearly $2 million for the project came from seven different sources.

Cunningham plans to have a soft re-opening for Jesse Owens Park sometime in August. Beatty plans to be there, and is looking forward to the future of the park.

"We all worked together, all came through. It's great," she said. "This is just the beginning of what its going to be. It's amazing already, can you imagine it in another month?"