Ballast Point Park upgrades officially open for fun
TAMPA - Ballast Point Park reopened this morning with several options for youngsters, including an interactive water splash pad and tot lot play area for ages 2 to 5. "Ultimately, all of us as city leaders have the obligation to leave the city better than it was given to us," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said at the South Tampa waterfront park at 5300 Interbay Blvd. Construction began in December on the $995,602 improvement project that also includes adding more parking and shelters, landscaping and irrigation and a new patio at the nearby Joe Abrahams Wellness Center. A sail-type shade was built over the existing play area and new walkways were built.The additions have been in use for a few weeks, but the city held an official grand opening today. The renovations were paid for with funds from the city's community investment tax. Community members also raised money to help build the tot lot. It's the latest upgrade to the century-old park, located just south of Gandy Boulevard along Hillsborough Bay. In 2009, the adjacent Ballast Point Pier was repaired and upgraded, and a boat dock was added as part of $966,000 project.