It’s been the city’s most treasured playground for almost thirty years. Gilbert Park’s play fort, shaded under large oaks across from Mount Dora’s lighthouse, has been home to countless games of hide-and-seek since its construction in 1990.
In recent years, the castle-type structure, designed for kids from ages five to twelve, has come under disrepair and now the city is ready to introduce a replacement due to the high cost of maintenance and replacement parts.
The new playground, recently approved by Mount Dora City Council, will feature a large pirate ship as the focal point with maze-like passageways, swings, role-playing elements, a rope gym and more creative features. The project is targeted for completion in October in time for the cooler months.
The new playground will be designed and built by Kompan, a Texas-based company. The $263,000 price tag will be funded by the Parks Impact Fee fund. Several council members were concerned about beginning a major project before the Parks Master Plan was complete, but in the end felt the park’s safety had to be the priority.
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It’s been talked about by local cities for years, but Eustis has finally stepped up. Seasoned skaters and novices alike will be thrilled to see a new skate park constructed in Lake County.
Work has begun on the approximately 9000 square-foot park in the city’s Sunset Island Park. The skate park will feature two distinct and challenging sections. A bowl on one side of the park will connect via a walkway to the other side which features a combination of ramps, grinding rails, stairs, and pads. The park is expected to be completed in September.
ABOVE: Bowl portion of skatepark
To fund the $500,000 project the City received a $100,000 grant from the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program and the balance is funded by the City, including its Recreation Impact Fee funds.
ABOVE: Street-skating portion of park with rails, ramps and more.
The idea of a skate park first came to the City Commission from public input, including from a group of young skateboarders, about five or six years ago.
Upon the skate park’s completion, the city is planning to host a Lake County Skateboard Invitational Competition to showcase its new recreational amenity.
Sunset Island Skate Park will be located at 301 W. Ward Avenue in Eustis. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. Find out what's happening locally with just a tap on your phone by downloading the area's free mobile app. Free monthly issues of Mount Dora Buzz are available here.