Marina park prepares development projects

by Airman 1st Class Stephan Coleman
81st Training Wing Public Affairs

2/6/2014 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- In the next few months, the 81st Force Support Squadron and Base Operations Support will fence off areas of the marina park for the construction of two improvement projects.

A 1,500 square foot splash pad will be built with funding from the Installation Excellence Award money won by Keesler in 2013. An accessible community park will also be constructed.

"The splash pad will be coated with a colorful textured cement surface and include a number of above and in-ground features for the children," said Andrew Marasca, engineering services supervisor for PAE Applied Technologies LLC. "Parents will be able to sit and watch them under two new shade pavilions located adjacent to the splash pad."

In an effort to be environmentally friendly, water from the splash pad will be drained to the golf course pond where it will be used for irrigation before trickling back into the aquifer that supplies Keesler.

The other improvement project is an accessible community park to be located to the south east of the existing playground structure.

"The park will contain various community recreation facilities including playgrounds, picnic areas, play areas, open space, marina and day use facilities," said David Horner, chief of construction management for PAE.

Horner detailed the following planned areas of the community park addition:

· A garden and nature area located on the northwest side of the project area will contain raised planter boxes with water spigot and annual and perennial plantings.

· A science and work area will be established over an existing concrete pad with a storage box, portable table, portable stump stools and loose parts.

· A social classroom area in the southwest area of the park will contain portable tables, portable benches and a 24-by-24 foot gazebo. Decomposed granite will be utilized for surfacing.

· A drama and imagination area will be developed on the south side of the project area will contain a permanent stage. The surfacing for this activity area will be engineered wood fiber.

· An art and music area will be established on an existing concrete slab adjacent to the new drama and imagination area.

"Entry arbors will be located at the west and north entrances to the community park to clearly identify the park entrances," said Horner. "And permanent signs will be provided to identify the entrances to the community park activity areas."

Access through the newly constructed areas will be provided by new 5-foot wide engineered wood fiber walkways, and existing concrete slabs will be utilized as appropriate.

The marina, pavilions, park, and playground will be open for use as usual during the construction period.