The Huntsville community has enjoyed Kids’ Space at John Hunt Park for nearly three decades, and they can continue to enjoy it when the new renovations are finished next year.
That’s right. The Kids’ Space will close soon for about 14 months as work begins on the space’s new look, which will celebrate the city’s past, present and future.
What’s new at Kids’ Space
Here is what the project on Kids’ Space involces:
- The new Kids’ Space will offer three themed areas. “Early Huntsville” will include plaza seating, a poured blue rubber surface that mimics Big Spring, and a John Hunt cabin play structure. A train will provide even more opportunities for pretend play, as children take a trip back to the 1800s.
- From there, imaginations will soar to new heights in the “Space Race.” The centerpiece is a gigantic rocket play structure, with a sky bridge, sky cabins, and an exciting slide back to Earth. There will also be “atom nets,” a ropes course and suspended balance beam. Wall-style seating will serve as a spot to relax in this center area of the playground.
- Mountain-themed plaza seating and stepped seats will offer plenty of room to spread out in the “Future Exploration” area. Though, it will be hard to take a break when there’s so much to see and do. From the “Three Caves” tunnels to cube-style climbing rocks, a wide embankment slide and an imagination playground, this is the perfect spot to burn off energy. When it’s time to fuel up, families will enjoy the grassy turf of a special picnic area.
“We really pushed the designers to think outside the box. They did a good job melding those pieces into a large, cohesive playground that I think people will respond really well to.”Huntsville Parks & Recreation Director James Gossett
A playground for everyone
City administrator John Hamilton said staff members spent hundreds of hours with the parents who helped design the Cove Universal Playground at Mark Russell Recreation Center. While crews drew upon that expertise, the new Kids’ Space will have its own personality.
Recognizing the importance of the playground to the community, the City of Huntsville has taken great care to ensure the approximately 14-month project results in a space that’s fun for all ages and abilities.
“One of the things we really talked about was accessibility,” Gossett said. “Obviously, when Kids’ Space was designed and built, standards were different. As we looked at the design, we wanted to remove any barriers for individuals with disabilities so everybody could be a part of this, one community all together.”
The renovation of Kids’ Space extends beyond the playground. The project will add trees, planting beds and decorative fencing. An expanded parking lot will ensure ample room for all who visit, while the new park entry will provide a welcoming first impression. Restroom facilities will also receive a complete renovation.