FOLEY – The final phases of work at the new Sara Thompson Kids Park began Monday.

Work started on a new fence that will replace the temporary barrier in place while the park was under construction and since the facility opened on May 27. Jeff Lee, parks director, said officials also plan to replace the pavilion that was removed during the demolition of the original park.

“They actually expect the materials to come in early sometime this week and they want to start on it on the fence the first of next week or sometime next week,” Lee told the City Council on July 17. “We’ve worked with a structural engineer for the pavilion. He’s looked at it and he’s coming back to get the specs and write that up for us and get a drawing so we can move forward and get that put into play, hopefully here pretty soon.”

The park was closed while crews installed the black metal fence, but is now reopened.

At the meeting, the council also voted to approve rules for the park on West Roosevelt Avenue.

The rules ban pets, glass containers, alcohol, smoking or vaping and other tobacco products. Rough play and profanity is also prohibited under the list of 21 rules. Other requirements include that children younger than12 must be accompanied by an adult and to use the equipment as it was intended. 

Anyone violating the rules can be temporarily or permanently banned from coming to the park.

The facility replaces Foley’s original Kids Park, which opened in 2001. The original park was demolished when officials found that many of the wooden structures, designed to last about 15 years, were deteriorating. .

The new park was built at a cost of $1.2 million. Foley received about $500,000 in grants to pay for some of the expenses.

The park was named for Sara Thompson, a second grade teacher at Foley Elementary School who organized the effort to build the original park in 2001.