Construction at Elks Park underway
After months of meticulous preparation and planning, construction on Elks Park began last week and is expected to be completed in the next couple of months.
According to Parks and Recreation Director Geoff Hubbard, his board met with Marshalltown residents at the park in April 2021 to see what improvements community members would support.
Because the park has a large slope to the west, residents wanted a more level area for kids to use for games like soccer or other sports, and they also wanted improvements to the playground equipment and basketball court.
The Marshalltown contractor Con-Struct began working on grading the center of the park to create a more level area about a week ago, but that’s really just the beginning of the project.
Hubbard said the Parks and Rec board is addressing safety, accessibility and new signage in all of the park master plans, and Elks Park is no exception. A new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant sidewalk is being installed, and it will connect to the shelter area, playground and basketball court. New security lighting is also set to be added.
A brand new Elks Park sign has also been put up, and new picnic tables will eventually be provided. Hubbard said these features are all being covered by the $60,000 Iowa Economic Development grant that Parks and Rec applied for last summer and received in November 2021.
Once Con-Struct has completed the grading and the sidewalk near the end of September, Hubbard said Parks and Rec will be using Boland Recreation for the new playground equipment. They will also be finding a company to redo the basketball court and hoops, and the park will hopefully be ready to use by the end of the year.
While the Elks Park project theoretically could have been completed sooner if Parks and Rec hadn’t applied for the grant and just used the allotted $110,000 budget towards construction, Hubbard said the extra funds were definitely helpful.
“It was interesting,” Hubbard said. “The grant money is kind of nice, but I think we could have gotten it done maybe last year at this time without the grant money. It was kind of a process too, and you know, the big wheels of government always seem to spin slower than people want them to.”
Elks Park is one of the newer locations on the Parks and Rec’s list to revamp, but some of the equipment is quite old with pieces dating back to the 1960s. Elks Park is far from the last park to be seeing some upgrades in the near future, though.
“We’re trying to do one or two parks every year, focusing on the higher priority ones with the older equipment first, and then addressing some of them that have newer equipment later,” Hubbard said.
Peterson and Kiwanis Park are next on the list, and Hubbard said Parks and Rec will be hosting more community outreach events similar to what they had when they were starting the Elks Park project.
Getting to see this project from start to finish has been exciting for Hubbard, and being able to reach out and talk with the community initially made the project even more significant.
“I’ve been here for three years, and we haven’t really done like an outreach to the neighborhood, so that was a cool phase of the project,” Hubbard said. “I’m hoping when we have a grand opening here, all the neighbors that were here at the initial meeting come and see what’s been done and enjoy it and get to appreciate it. And their kids can enjoy it for the rest of their lives.”
Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or