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Ascent park to get major renovation

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By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

Ascent Park is about to receive a $30,000 face-lift.

The park is located along state Route 410 on Elhi Hill as people enter Bonney Lake.

The bronze sculpture, The Ascent, by nationally-recognized artist Larry Anderson, who lives in Bonney Lake, welcomes people to the city.

Anderson's son Caplan is the boy in the sculpture.

The city is planning a three-phase renovation of the park, which could be finished by the end of the year.

"In the first phase we want to put a stone veneer around the monument which holds the sculpture," Administrative Services Coordinator Don Morrison said. "Then we want a grated metal sign with raised letters."

The City Council discussed the wording on the sign at the Feb. 15 workshop, deciding on, Welcome to Bonney Lake.

City officials may add other words or dates at a later date according to Morrison.

The sign now says Welcome on one side and Bonney Lake on the other.

The second phase of the project will involve upgrading the electrical and lighting systems and possibly the flags poles.

"A decision hasn't been made yet about the flag poles," Morrison said. "The council will have to decide on that part."

The second phase will not begin until summer.

The third phase will involve landscaping including using trees as a backdrop to the sculpture.

"We want to use native plants that are drought resistant," Morrison said. "We are going to try and come up with a drip irrigation system for the plants."

Landscaping would not take place before fall.

Assistant Public Works Director Gary Leaf said the city is still soliciting quotes for the masonry work.

"We have to use a contractor for the stone face veneer," Leaf said. "We hope to use volunteers for the landscaping."

Morrison said if a contractor did the entire job it would cost the city $60,000.

"By serving as our own project manager we cut the cost in half," Morrison said.

The city paid $80,000 for the sculpture and monument in 1992. According to city officials, most of the money came from a state grant.

Prior to becoming a park, the area was a state-maintained rest stop for travelers on SR 410.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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