Public input meetings for Naftzger Park begin today


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The public can weigh in on the preferred park design elements for Naftzger Park starting today.

The public input meeting will be tonight from 5:30-7:30 p.m., and Friday from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Both meetings will be held at the office of Wichita Downtown Development, located at 507 East Douglas.

The city is looking to do some serious renovations to the park. Naftzger Park was created as a Victorian Park, back in the 1970’s. City officials said they want to turn the park into a more urban, 21st century park.

This means an open, more usable and accessible park for everyone.

With the park being located just north of Intrust Bank Arena, city officials hope to turn it into an event space.

“This is going to be the park for the public. This is a park that’s downtown,” said Mark Elder, a developmental analyst for the City of Wichita. “It’s accessible not only as users of downtown, but it’s going to be a space where people go into Intrust Bank Arena or going to pass through, or maybe utilize before and after events.”

According to Elder, the park will have infrastructure beneath it — such as gas lines and electrical hookups. He believes it will help bring more people and events to use the park.

“It’s an exciting time. It’s just another aspect of revitalization of downtown and creating more activity,” Elder said.

The renovation is part of a $1.5 million plan to fix the park, just in time for the NCAA basketball tournament at Intrust Bank Arena in March.

According to city officials, they plan to pay for the improvements through a special tax district. A hearing for the finance plan is set for August 15.

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