MENOMINEE — Future improvement projects were discussed at Wednesday’s meeting of the Henes Park Board, notably improvements to the playground, beach house and restroom facilities.

City Manager Tony Graff gave the committee an update on the concept plan that the committee had approved several months prior. “As far as the beach house goes, we may expand it a little bit with a four-season pavilion as something we’re looking at, maybe even adding a few architectural features, maybe a different facade to give it a different look, but the footprint will stay the same size so we’re not tearing it down; the beach house will stay as the beach house,” he said. 

He said that doing that would eliminate the need to divert the road going past the beach house.

He also said that work would be done on the playground as well. “It’s an old playground,” he said. “We’d keep the same footprint, but maybe have some other kind of architecture around it. The fence is great for protection, but we could maybe get more of an architectural feature around it that still does the same thing as a barrier for the kids in the playground area.”

The equipment that is there, Graff said, does need to be changed out for newer equipment. “There are grants out there for park improvements for handicap accessibility that we’re going to try to get,” he said.

As a part of the budget for the park, Graff said that money for wood chips on the trails through the park would be plugged in. “We know we only put at most $3,000 worth of chips; we’re budgeting about $10,000 in wood chips for trails and the playground.”

Graff also commented on improvements to the restroom facilities. “We’ve got them cleaned up now; the floors are done and they’re in better shape maintenance-wise, but now we have to start looking at getting some heat into them if we’re going to be a 365-day park so we don’t the water off all the time,” he said. Commenting further on the idea of becoming a 365-day park, he said that ideally the front gate would be open for people to drive up to the first pavilion and park their vehicles in that area to avoid having to park on the road. The rest of the roadway in the park wouldn’t be open for cars, but driving in as far as the first pavilion would.

He also said that they’re planning to get some kind of solar lighting on the outside of the beach house and better lighting in the restrooms, since safety is a key focus.

He said that as a part of the improvements to the beach house, the public restrooms would be of similar quality to the ones at the Marina. “We’re going to upgrade them for handicap accessibility, but also look at family restrooms. Because it’s on the beach, it’d be nice for families who want to come in and all of them get changed,” he said. 

Graff also mentioned the possibility of running a natural gas line to the beach house for heating.

The board decided to pass this information along to the City Council. The next Henes Park Board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 13.