Glendale Regional Park is all set — on paper.
On Tuesday, the Salt Lake City Council folded the 17 acres on and around the former Raging Waters site into the capital’s general plan. Renderings for the first phase are finalized. Funding is allocated. Goals for programming and maintenance are in place.
Connected to nearby Glendale Park, 17th South River Park, Glendale Golf Course and the Jordan River Parkway, the new regional park is set to become a major west-side attraction and a regional draw akin to Liberty Park.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the coming park:
Will it have a pool?
Yes, but not in the first phase. With the loss of Raging Waters, this was a constant question — and request — from west-siders. Planners are working with Salt Lake County, which manages the city’s aquatic facilities, to incorporate a pool and other elements the community desires, said city public lands planner Kat Maus, who is helping to guide the vision for Glendale Regional Park.
What about pickleball courts?
OK, fans of this booming sport, hear this: The ping will sing. But, again, not at the start. The park will feature six pickleball courts in a later phase. Existing tennis courts nearby, however, will remain. While the city awaits construction of the new courts, four of the current tennis courts will add blended lines to accommodate pickleball players.
What about hoops?
It’s a slam-dunk. A full basketball court will be part of the first phase.
What else will the park have?
An all-abilities playground with assistive technologies will come in the first phase, along with some adaptable spaces for events and gatherings.
Eventually, the park is poised to have an ice and roller skating ribbon and a kayak rental station along the river.
So what else is coming first?
The first phase will begin construction this summer and is expected to open by April 2024. It will focus on the western portions, adjacent to Glendale Neighborhood Park, and will include a pavilion, pathways, a community plaza and lawn for picnicking and other activities.
There also are plans for parking spaces, which would work also as an interim food truck area, and an undeveloped hill for hiking or possible art installations.
No timeline is in place, Maus said, for future phases.
What programming is the city considering?
This is a priority. “It was clear during the public engagement [process] and looking at some of our other parks,” Maus said, “that in order to make this park really successful, it has to have high-level programming.”
With the help of a consultant, the city drafted alternatives, but none of the plans is definite at this point.
The first phase calls for fitness activities for families, music and education at some of the play features.
There may also be programming for the river along with safety and awareness classes, skills workshops, habitat education, nature walks, birding and wildlife adventures.
Arts and culture would also have a strong presence — possibly with outdoor movies, lawn games, arts and crafts, small performances and literary events.
The full basketball court presents an opportunity for clinics, lessons and all-abilities skills training.
In future phases, the outdoor pool could host swimming lessons, lifeguard training and senior fitness classes. Lessons and workshops could also be rolled out at the skating features.
River recreation could expand to boating, tubing and river restoration education.
And, with an adaptive performance stage, the park could accommodate concerts and community festivals.
How much will the park cost?
The budget started with $3.2 million from development impact fees. Voters then approved a general obligation bond, securing $27 million for park development. That might not cover all of the costs.
“A full build-out will be anywhere between $30 million and $50 million,” Maus said, “depending on the types of amenities that go in there.”
Maus’ team is pursuing state and federal funding — if needed — to bring the park vision to reality.
Are there additional plans for the area?
Safety on 1700 South was a big concern for neighbors. So the city’s Public Lands Department is working with the transportation division to boost safe access to the park across that road, Maus said. There’s also a recommendation for public transit to the park.
In addition, the city may craft a small area plan for Glendale to cover housing issues in the neighborhood.
Are there still opportunities to weigh in?
Yes. Though many of the plans are in place for the first phase, officials will offer more community engagement opportunities for future phases. Those interested can sign up for the project’s newsletter to get updates on chances to comment on the plans.
From the first phase to whatever ends up being the last, the park promises to help transform the west side.
“The city’s west side truly deserves a large open green space that provides not only really active opportunities to gather with their community,” Maus said, “but also provides access to nature and natural elements that I think are a high priority for the community.”
Alixel Cabrera is a Report for America corps member and writes about the status of communities on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.