March 4, 2024

Confusion and Frustration Mount Following Closure of Newburgh Park

Confusion and Frustration Mount Following Closure of Newburgh Park

NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) — On Friday, voices were raised concerning the decision of the Newburgh town parks board to shut down the Fortress of Fun playground at Lou Dennis Community Park.

Citing what some authorities deem “deteriorating conditions,” the board made the contentious decision to close the playground, leaving many in Newburgh perplexed and upset. Melinda Mitchell, among others, is questioning the rationale behind this closure.

“Most people are keen on preserving this playground,” Mitchell stated, having frequented the playground with her children and grandson. “It seems feasible to renovate it. I’ve thoroughly inspected it with my grandson and it appears that a good cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, and replacing some boards should suffice.”

Mitchell is advocating for the voices of the community to be considered by town officials. The Newburgh Park Pals are scheduled to discuss the park’s future in their annual meeting on March 11, where they will unveil the park master plan.

“As someone who’s not an engineer but an observant visitor, I believe the playground is salvageable,” she remarked. “If we unite as a community, I’m confident we can rescue this playground.”

She acknowledges that the park does require some refurbishing.

“I did spot a post that was notably worn out, but only at the top, not at the base,” she observed. “The damage doesn’t seem extensive enough to warrant the closure of this playground.”

While an announcement has confirmed the closure starting Friday due to “deteriorating conditions,” Eyewitness News is awaiting a response from town officials on their decision.

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Mitchell is hopeful for a celebration to honor the cherished memories of children and adults who have enjoyed the Fortress of Fun.

A town council member also shared on social media Thursday night that efforts are being made by at least one council member to halt the demolition.


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