The Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department is cleaning up Hickory Adams Park, which was impacted by the May 22 EF-3 tornado, and is waiting to assess flood damage at the local parks.
Hickory Adams Park, at 503 Hickory St., was hit the hardest by the tornado, Parks Director Todd Spalding told the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Commission on Tuesday. The high winds uprooted several large trees in the park, he added.
"The view of driving through at six in the morning and trying to get to Hickory Adams is a sight I will never forget," Spalding said.
Following the tornado, Parks staff cleaned debris off the greenways and parks and helped the Jefferson City Public Works Department clean up streets. The Parks department also helped clean up City Hall, which was "blanketed with trash" and had several trees torn down in the parking lot, Spalding said.
The department partnered with the American Red Cross and United Way of Central Missouri, along with other agencies to provide space and resources to tornado volunteers and victims.
"This whole experience has been a testament for what the Parks and Recreation Department has done," commissioner Lindsey Rowden said.
While Parks staff cleaned up debris from the tornado, they also have been worrying about historic flooding.
Flooding impacted the North Jefferson Recreation Area ball fields, as well as Duensing, Lions and Eagles ballfields at Washington Park, Assistant Parks Department Director Aaron Grefrath previously said. The Parks department created a temporary ballfield at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park last week to help make up canceled games.
The Parks staff is waiting for the water to recede so they can access the flood damage, Assistant Parks Director JJ Gates said.
While the water got extremely close to the Washington Park Ice Arena, Spalding said, it did not get into the ice arena.
The river crested late last week at 33.41 feet and has been decreasing since, currently sitting at 31.1 feet Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
In other business Tuesday, the commission approved a $441,990 professional services contract with The Architect's Alliance, Inc. for improvements at McClung and Ellis-Porter Riverside parks. The cost covers the final design, construction documents, competitive bidding and construction phase activities.
The commission approved a $441,990 supplemental appropriation from the Parks Fund to cover the cost for this phase.
The current scope for improvements at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park, at 300 Ellis-Porter Drive, include a new 5,000-seat community amphitheater, more parking and upgraded ball fields, among other improvements. The Architect's Alliance will bid public restrooms for the outdoor amphitheater as an alternate, the proposal states.
McClung Park may see indoor pavilion renovations, new outdoor patio, extension of the outdoor play surface and parking lot repairs.
The commission has about $3 million set aside for renovations to Ellis-Porter Park and $1.3 million to McClung Park, Spalding previously said.
McClung and Ellis-Porter Riverside parks are the commission's second and third priorities for park improvements.
The Parks commission listed Community Park as its first priority from the parks master plan — a 20-year plan that outlines improvements to the parks system.
For Community Park, the commission approved Tuesday a $197,985 contract with ABCreative for pavilion structures. It also approved a $498,563 contract with ABCreative for play equipment.
In April, the Parks commission awarded Jefferson City-based Sircal Contracting with a more than $1.46 million construction contract for improvements at Community Park, 725 Marshall St. The improvements include a sprayground, playground equipment and structures, retaining walls, stormwater and sanitary sewer systems, installation of furnishings, paving and surfacing, among other items.