Bay Horizon Park is a step closer to a new playground and gymnasium upgrades, thanks to a new partnership between Whatcom County, who owns the park, and Northwest Parks and Recreation District # 2.
In a unanimous decision June 13, the Whatcom County Council agreed to allow the parks district to operate and maintain the gym facility and new playground.
The 10-year agreement will allow the parks district to remodel and manage the gym at Bay Horizon Park, and work with Whatcom County to construct the playground.
The improvements will address what director Erin Anderson calls a lack of playground space in northwest Whatcom County.
“There isn't anything,” Anderson said. “That's why the need is so great.”
The district will contribute $35,000 of the planned $100,000 playground costs, with the remainder coming from Whatcom County.
The district’s contribution will pay for construction materials, while the county will install the playground, amenities and landscaping.
Grinstad and Wagner, a Fairhaven architecture firm, is designing the playground.
Indoors, a gym remodel will renovate space that houses a cavernous mens' locker room - a relic from the structure's military days - and create new accessible locker rooms, a meeting room and storage areas.
Both the meeting room and gym facility will be available for community members to rent. The structure will receive lighting and insulation upgrades, as well as new paint and flooring.
The facility will allow for more indoor recreation activities and programs, and greater accessibility for district residents.
Anderson said the improvements will also benefit participants from Camp Horizon, a camp for youth and adults with special needs, which uses the facility for four weeks each July.
“Camp Horizon will still have use of the facility at no charge, as they always have,” Anderson said, "So it’s really a win-win for everyone.”
Though improvements are still in the planning stages, Anderson said the district plans on completing the gym remodel by December, and the playground significantly sooner.
For more information about Northwest Parks and Recreation District # 2 events and activities, visit www.nwparkandrec.org