Mayor Caldwell details plan to fix park facilities

Updated: Feb. 24, 2015 at 5:11 PM HST
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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)

At Asing Community Park in Ewa Beach, the comfort station needs TLC. The city plans to give the bathroom an $80,000 facelift, one of 24 park comfort stations slated to be refurbished.

"It means going into the restroom, fixing spalding, replacing concrete, putting in new tiles, putting in new fixtures -- power washing everything so that the tiles sparkle again," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.

He laid out the blueprint for park fixes in his State of the City address. He calls the endeavor E Paka Kakou or "Our Parks Together."

"We step up. You step up. We all win," Caldwell said.

The city will fix two park bathrooms a month for the next year. Some comfort stations have two decades worth of wear and tear.

"We have stains. We have odors that have lasted that long," city Parks Director Michele Nekota said.

After scrubbing and scraping, tiles will be treated with a sealant called Microguard that repels water and resists graffiti.

"Usually from design to planning to construction takes about a year. These will only take a month to get refurbished. It will look almost brand new again," Nekota said.

Damaged playground equipment in 16 parks will be repaired or replaced, at $40,000 to $60,000 a job, starting at Kamiloiki Community Park in Hawaii Kai.

"We're going to show you before and after pictures," Caldwell said. "We're going to post it on our web site and you can measure our success and see what it looks like."

Caldwell is sinking $2 million more into Capital Improvement Project funding to pay for the fixes at the parks. He wants neighborhood boards, civic clubs and sports teams to help maintain the facilities and to help curb vandalism.

"Improvement will not last unless the community steps up and says, 'This is our bathroom. This is our playground. We don't like what you're doing to this place,'" he said.

There are 300 city parks on Oahu.

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