PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Gilchrist Park will be closed for a year starting in January as the park undergoes renovations.
Some of these improvements include a new seawall, a pet area, a wider walking path and upgrades to the pavilions, as well as park amenities.
However, the park’s impending closure and construction is causing mixed emotions among parkgoers.
JoEllen Wilson uses the park daily and is one of the many parkgoers who will benefit from the project.
“Being born and raised here, growing up at Gilchrist Park, I think improvements around our town are nothing but good,” she said.
But not everyone shares her opinion.
Most people are concerned about the year-long closure and the lack of warning.
“I wish we had some warning,” said one couple who didn’t reveal their names. “We would have been coming down here to walk if we knew we couldn’t walk anymore. There’s no signs — I’m really disappointed I’ll have to find a different pathway.”
While the renovations are wanted and needed, some locals are still a bit weary.
“It is because it’s at a nice time of the weather in the season,” said Punta Gorda resident Julie Gomez. “I mean, it’s exciting that they’re changing it, but I would prefer it in the summer when we aren’t out and about as often.”
The project will cost $2 million and is funded by FDOT and the city of Punta Gorda.
Construction is expected to be completed by December 2017.
For more information on the project, click here.