New metro parks in progress seeing delays due to rainy weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- "Rain, rain go away." That's what parks and recreation departments across the metro are hoping will happen.

Two new parks are weeks away from anyone playing on them after a forecast full of May showers instead of flowers.

You may be ready for summer in Blue Springs, but unfortunately Burrus Old Mill Park is not. A harsh winter and wet spring are delaying the construction and opening of the park.

"We just continue to work through it the best we can," said Dennis Dovel, the director of parks & recreation for Blue Springs. "We've had great contractors. Our contractors that have worked on the project -- they've worked diligently through the winter months, as well as in the mud through the spring trying to get it where it's at today."

The inclusive park with a splash pad won't open in time for Memorial Day. Dovel said the $3 million project should open in about three weeks.

"If we could get four or five dry days in a row where we could get things dried out a little bit and get some of the paving and landscape done, then we'd probably be in a lot better shape," Dovel said.

Across the state line, in Prairie Village, it's a similar sight at the intersection of 91st and Nall. The new Meadowbrook Park won't be able to open until June 22.

"It is challenging for us, but we're rolling with it," said Jeff Stewart, deputy director for the Johnson County Park and Recreation District. "This is Kansas. We're used to the change in the environment."

The park is a $12 million project is taking over where the Meadowbrook Golf and Country Club once was.

It has a 10,000-foot clubhouse that's already open, picnic areas, a preschool classroom to teach kids about nature, 3 miles of trail and lighted pickle ball courts. It also has a playground that was designed with the help of local kids suggestions.

"We want to make sure it's done right whenever it does open, and we're excited that this will certainly be a jewel within our parks and recreation inventory," Stewart said.

While both cities have more work to do, they both believe the projects are worth the wait.

"Certainly it's being delayed today, but waiting three or four weeks for a project like this that's going to be in our community for years to come is well worth it," Dovel said. "I just think it's one of those projects that people are going to look back on and feel really good about."

Burrus Old Mill Park doesn't have an opening date as of now. Dovel said they hope to have it done in June.

Meadowbrook Park was scheduled to open June 1. But the city said they will have an opening celebration on June 22.

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