Renovated Lincoln Park reopens

Published 3:11 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

By Jordan Brooks

If you have not been by Lincoln Park lately, you need to go by and look at it as the restoration project is finally completed.

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“Hats off to our street and sewer departments for all their time and effort to help fill in the spaces that needed to be completed to see this park come all the way to fruition,” said Middlesboro Mayor Boone Bowling on Facebook post.

This is the first ADA inclusive park for the community which will feature a huge wheelchair accessible structure and very unique merry-go-round which also has 2,300 square feet of poured-in-place or blue rubber surfacing.

“It doesn’t look like the same park,” said Kevin Barnett with the city’s street department.

Although there is mulch on the other non-ADA specific equipment, this will be temporary. The  city will apply for additional grants to pour the remainder of the playground. The basketball court, or old tennis court, will be converted to green space.

The city also will add basketball courts across the street on the old Middlesboro Intermediate School or East End property through an agreement with the school system.

“We owe a great thank you to Waylon Allen and Middlesboro School Board on their investment in our community,” said Bowling.

Middlesboro also plans to eventually upgrade other city parks, such as Noetown and Buddy Massengill parks. Middlesboro also will be looking to add more elements of inclusion for the rest of the parks such as sensory equipment and more ADA-compliant equipment as well.

“We’re going to be upgrading all of our parks over time; it’s just a matter of funding,” said Bowling. “Most of what we’ve got lately has been through grants, grants look at numbers, those are more community oriented just like west end. The parks that are around more high traffic areas, but over time I would say we’re all in favor of getting all our parks.”

Over the next few years, continued changes and upgrades at Lincoln Park are to continue, to make this park a staple point in Middlesboro. Now all that is left for the city is to put in some last finishing touches, such as dirt work, amenities, and fencing.