Improvements Coming to Ben Geren Park

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Construction crews worked on projects at Ben Geren Park Friday even through the morning rain. That's because there are a number of projects in the works right now.

"It is kind of unusual that they`ve all come together at this one time. I think it`s the result of four or five years of park planning and it`s all starting to come together now," said Sebastian County Judge Dave Hudson.

Planning park improvements began back in 2008. But it's taken a few years for funding to come through.

"We're dealing with a park that was installed in 1972. So we needed to update some of the features," said Hudson.

"We've been here quite a few years now. But there hasn't been a whole lot done. Money's tight. We understand that," said Joe Mundy with the Ben Geren Softball Association.

Improvements at the park include additional softball fields, new lighting at the soccer fields, a safe structure, a tennis facility, and an expanded trail that leads to Terrain Park.

Hudson's also working with Aquatics International to build a new aquatic park.

"When we asked the people of Sebastian County what they would like to see, many said a water park," said Hudson.

Ideas proposed are lap lanes, a play area for toddlers, several water slides, a lazy river and an area for adults to swim while keeping an eye on their children.

Before the design is finalized, Hudson said he would like to get feedback from the community.

Construction on the water park is expected to wrap up by summer of 2014.