Keokuk to complete park improvements

The city of Keokuk is in the process of revamping its city parks. Residents have several long-time projects to look forward to which will be completed in time for activities this summer.

Construction is underway at the site of the future Keokuk Aquatic Center. Not long ago the city council was looking at revamping the pool built back in the 1950's. But they eventually decided a full reconstruction would save money in the end, while giving kids a place to go in time for summer break this year.

Mayor David Gudgel said, "You always have children in towns our size saying there's nothing to do. In some respects they are right."

The Keokuk Aquatic Center should be open by the first week of June.

The city is also hoping to construct public restroom facilities here at Rand Park. Designs and possible costs of that project haven't been determined yet but Mayor David Gudgel says it's long overdue.

But perhaps the most exciting improvement for the community is the total reconstruction of the Rand Park Pavilion. Gudgel says Keokuk has had a long history of concerts in the park. But all that ended when the old Rand Park Pavilion had to be torn down because of safety concerns. After going without, members of the community stepped forward to "own" the project.

Gudgel said, "The dream was embraced by hundreds and hundreds of individuals who have given of their time and money to get this. It's privately funded, no city funds were used in this project."

Supporters of the amphitheatre project raised more than $800 thousand through local donations to construct the new venue. City officials say it will truly be one of its kind.

The Rand Park Pavilion will be dedicated in a few short months and will house concerts and family-friendly entertainment. Gudgel hopes its just one more thing that attracts future residents and businesses to town.

The Rand Park Pavilion should be completed in late May.