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Lexington city officials preview $4.6 million overhaul of downtown Phoenix Park

Public and private funds will be used for the $4.6 million "reimagining" of Phoenix Park in downtown Lexington.
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Public and private funds will be used for the $4.6 million "reimagining" of Phoenix Park in downtown Lexington.

Construction will begin next month on what Lexington city officials call a “reimagined” Phoenix Park. Mayor Linda Gorton and others previewed the project at a news conference in the downtown library, which is next to the park. Phoenix Park is in the district of City Councilmember Hannah LeGris, who praised the partners who helped plan and fund the work.

“Reimagining this park takes vision. It takes persistence and it takes creativity. When we're here again in a year, you're going to see an entirely new Phoenix Park. One that is going to be built for the President and for the future of downtown.”

The $4.6 million public-private partnership will feature a performance stage, improved dog park, adult bench swings and an interactive fog area that Parks and Recreation Director Monica Conrad said will be a first for city parks.

“It does allow users really to experience the cooling benefits of water in a dry play space. With the addition of LED lighting, the effect can provide a really unique experience for park users to enjoy the space, either early in the evening or during events.”

Conrad said the memorials for fallen police officers and firefighters in the park will remain in place. A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for next spring.

Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to the former Phoenix Hotel as the present home of Lexington's City Hall. City Hall is in the former Lafayette Hotel. We regret the error.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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