Farmington inching closer to San Juan County’s first all-abilities park

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FARMINGTON, N.M. — The City of Farmington has plans to replace the former Tibbetts Middle School with a park that is an inclusive space for all ages and abilities.

Those plans are inching closer, after the final public design presentation wrapped up last week. Now the city is moving forward with those plans in hopes to start construction next spring. 

The old middle school sits on an eight-acre lot, and most of the time it’s empty, with the exception of the occasional visitor.

“It’s a beautiful opportunity to take something that has a really great existing footprint that can easily transform into an active space in the community, so that’s it’s not an eyesore,” said Christa Chapman, the marketing and communications specialist for the City of Farmington.

It will be the first all-abilities park in San Juan County. 

“The original concept was going to be a concept of these other parks that sort of exist and when we started this process, it’s really turned into being this innovative and new space and so there is going to be a lot of really customized and new things that people haven’t seen before,” Chapman said.

Water features, a zip line, a walking trail, and a skate park are all included in the plans that have been open to public discussion.

“The overall concept of the park has been getting overwhelmingly positive feedback and we also got some really great specific input from various user groups, you know, our communities with individuals with disabilities have been able to really highly weigh in on the design,” Chapman added. 

Now that the concept has been agreed on, Chapman says the ink is drying on the ideas. 

“We have completed the conceptual and the schematic designs — and this last public input session they will now — the contractor will now be working on creating the actual construction documents so turning those concepts into the blueprints.”

The park will cost $13 million to build. Funding will come from grants and various sources including a fundraiser on Oct. 15