COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department began rehabilitation of the Leon Young Pavilion this week in South Shooks Run Park. The pavilion, which is named after Colorado Springs’ first African American mayor, is located in the Hillside neighborhood. Prompted by a community-led effort, the finished rehabilitated space will provide a clean, safe and improved area that can host small, outdoor neighborhood gatherings.
“The community played a critical role throughout the process, and we learned a lot from their input,” said Karen Palus, parks director. “We know neighbors are excited to get out and enjoy this space, and we appreciate their patience while construction is underway, especially allowing time for the turf to properly reestablish.”
Rehabilitation work includes the removal of approximately half of the existing structure. Some vertical posts and overhead pieces will remain onsite in homage of the original design. These pieces have been inspected and are considered structurally sound. Elements to be removed and replaced include concrete picnic pads, tables, benches, trash cans and lighting. The space will also receive several new amenities to accommodate small events, including an electrical receptacle, concrete pad for a portable toilet and an accessible walkway.
Pending weather or other construction delays, work is expected to be complete by the end of April. Following the demolition work, Parks’ staff will evaluate the disturbed pavilion area, finalize work on the irrigation system and reestablish grass.
There is a concurrent neighborhood effort to incorporate a memorial to Leon Young in this space. Those plans are still developing.
The rehabilitation and memorial is funded by a federal $150,000 community development block grant and $37,500 from The Colorado Trust. For more information, visit ww.coloradosprings.gov/hillsideproject.