Scrapers are trundling over Lea McKeighan Park in Lee’s Summit, grading the park for renovations to include a walking trail and a signature playground for kids up to 12 or 13 years old.
By RUSS PULLEY
Special to The Star
It will feature a 35-foot-tall rope pyramid and climbing rocks to give children thrills and exercise.
For young climbers, the ropes and netting will mimic the experience of scaling a sailing vessel, said parks administrator Tom Lovell. It’s designed so that if a child falls, the farthest he or she can drop is five feet before being caught by netting. It gives the feel of “high risk” but actually low risk.
“It puts you up in the air and kids seem to like to do that,” Lovell said. “I think it will be a community-wide destination.”
An exhibit will recall thousands of youths that played baseball at the park when it was prominent as a sports venue before the construction of Legacy Park. Also there will be a commemorative area that explains the history of the land, which once belonged to Dr. Pleasant Lea who was killed confronting Yankee soldiers.
The $1.8 million project is mostly financed by the parks sales tax.
Construction of the south park and playground should be finished by June or July, but landscaping probably will extend to October, Lovell said.
Lea McKeighan is about 21 acres at at Douglas Street and Chipman Road. It’s bisected by Chipman Road, and each section is getting work done.
Already finished is a skate park on the north side. More volleyball courts are coming on the north next year, as well as more challenging climbing boulders and zip lines for older users.