BUTTE – The improvement project at Stodden Park is not done, but it already has fans.
“It’s exciting, it’s going to be a one of a kind park,” said Parks and Recreation Director JP Gallagher.
The more than $5 million project, which was paid for by a donation from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington foundation includes the destination play area, pavilion area between the nearly built outdoor pool and carousel, an ice skating ribbon and an additional entrance to the park from Rowe Road.
This major project has run into some delays and won’t be fully completed until the end of May.
“We’re progressing along, it’s a matter of having the weather come back around for us to finish up the project,” said Gallagher.
The city is expecting a busy summer once the park is completed.
“We’re going to host the AA State Girls Softball tournament. We can’t wait to showcase this to all the teams that come in from around the state,” said Gallagher.
This is definitely not your grandfather’s Stodden Park. And park officials are hoping that all these changes and all the money spent will result in a positive impact on Butte’s economy.
“And also it will have an economic impact that people will see that we have some great things in our town and when relocating, it adds to the value of what makes Butte great,” said Gallagher.
Some people are already enjoying the $1 million play area even though there’s more work to be done.
“It’s spectacular, it really is, it really adds a lot to the city. And the carousel’s wonderful, but this playground is spectacular,” said park visitor Mary Van Nuland.
While the playground is not completed, it is still open to the public to use this winter.
Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News