Boardwalk and pavers are going down while the pier and bathroom facilities are going up.
For months folks have watched as excavators have moved and shifted sand and dirt around, but things are starting to take shape at the Captain Leonard Destin Park on Calhoun Avenue.
In the last couple of weeks, representatives from the city, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, The Trust for Public Land, engineers and the construction crew did a walk-through at the park.
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"We had a great opportunity to view what is going to be available to our residents and visitors and we are extremely excited," said Catherine Card, public information manager for the city of Destin.
During the walk-through, they were able to see landscaping opportunities as well as some of the things that are being built in recognition of and highlighting some of Destin’s first settlers.
The park is located on the same plot of land as the original homestead of its namesake — Capt. Leonard Destin.
In 2015, The Trust for Public Land purchased the 3.42-acre lot on Calhoun with Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment early restoration funds with a vision to create a park for the public, provide public assess to the water and help preserve the history of the community, according to the city of Destin’s website.
Once the project is complete, The Trust will give the park to the city.
In the meantime, things are moving right along.
"Things are tracking," Card said, noting they hope to have the park finished by spring 2020.
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But for now, most of the park is "under construction," she said.
She explained that part of the boardwalk that runs parallel to the water is being finished up.
The park will have two bathrooms on site, both of which are under construction.
"The walls are up, but nothing has been installed internally yet," she said.
During the walk-through, they were also able to see the outline of how the playground is going to look, as well as a splash pad area that the children can run around on.
"Staff was able to look at the plans and get a visual as to where things were going to be placed in the park," she said.
Picnic pavilions are being erected as well as a replica of a historic seine boat. Plus pavers are going down in the parking lot.
All the visible construction is coming at a good time, Card said, noting they were starting to get calls questioning why they didn’t see any progress.
"It’s a deep park ... so it’s hard to see when driving down Calhoun," she said.
But work is happening.
One of the aspects of the park that Card is most excited about is that it will be handicapped accessible.
"Those that are wheelchair bound will have the opportunity to get out there because of the levels of how the railings are ... it’s all ADA compliant," she said.
"People are going to be able to get out there fishing," she added, noting a kayak launch area as well as for paddle boards. "We are extremely thrilled that this will be a park that will serve everybody."
The total park project cost is about $10 million. That consists of land purchase and park development expenses, as well as more than $900,000 that the Trust plans to donate to the city to cover 10 years worth of operating and maintenance costs.