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Renovation of Willis Park in Avondale Estates will begin this fall

Avondale Estates

Renovation of Willis Park in Avondale Estates will begin this fall

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Willis Park in Avondale Estates. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Willis Park in Avondale Estates. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

After years of being discussed and examined on a drawing board, the city of Avondale Estates has made real progress on its plans to renovate Willis Park.

City Commissioners approved contracts related to the project during the commission’s Aug. 24 meeting.

“Construction should begin in September and last roughly five months,” a statement from the city says. “Efforts will be made to keep The Museum School accessible during renovations for students and their families.”

The site of Willis Park was conveyed to the city by town founder George Francis Willis in 1928. It is located off of Dartmouth Avenue, and across from the Museum School on Forrest Boulevard. Currently the park is bordered by a bent and grimy metal fence on the side of the park facing the Museum School.

The renderings of the proposed renovations show a park that’s much greener and more inviting than the one at the current site. The park will have a new entrance, pavilion and new playground equipment.

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Willis Park has been a source of tension within Avondale Estates due to its use by Museum School students. The school is not technically in the city, though the school reports that approximately 39 percent of its 446 students live in the city of Avondale. Residents have been concerned that the park creates a safety hazard and that parents of students are taking advantage of an amenity that not all of them pay for.

The city awarded three separate contracts for the project:

– $485,485 to Integrated Construction and Nobility, Inc. for construction

– $117,700 to GameTime for playground equipment

– $24,200 to jB + a, inc. for construction administration

The city has published these renderings of the proposed renovations on its website:

willis-park-renderings-011415

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