Three ceremonies Thursday afternoon will spotlight the City of Grand Rapids first ever universally accessible play spaces.

Mayor Roslynn Bliss, along with Grand Rapids City Commissioners and administrators will break ground on three playground projects Thursday, May 3.

According to the city's web site, the three playgrounds to be renovated will be the first to have universally accessible playgrounds, which means they will be accessible to all children, including those with disabilities. These improvements are part of a millage increase approved by the voters in 2013.

The groundbreaking ceremonies will be held at:

3 p.m. at Mooney Park, 314 Logan St. SE
3:35 p.m. at Cheseboro Park, 951 Merrit St. SE
4:10 p.m. at Ottawa Hills Park, 2060 Oakfield Ave. SE

  • The $150,000 construction project at Mooney Park will include an improved playground, new site lighting and walkways and a new masonry seat wall, planter and landscape bed.
  • The $150,000 construction project at Cheseboro Park will include a new multi-age playground, new picnic tables, bench seating, bike racks, site lighting, shade trees and site amenities and an improved entryway.
  • The $700,000 construction project at Ottawa Hills Park will include a new fully universally accessible playground with areas for older and younger children, a new picnic area, benches, lighting, shade trees and site amenities. This park space is new to the Grand Rapids park system thanks to a longstanding partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS). The green space recently became park space as a result of a $1 asset swap between the City and GRPS. In exchange for the parkland, the City paid $1 and then deeded the former Grand Rapids Public Museum facility to GRPS for $1 and up to $20,000 related real estate fees. GRPS will house its new Museum School in the iconic building at 54 Jefferson Ave. SE.