PENDLETON - Two city crews are installing playground equipment and restrooms at Grecian Heights Park along Tutuilla Creek, and more facilities are planned.

Tom Hartzell, designer-project manager for the city parks, recreation, cemetery and facilities department, said one crew has most of a new aluminum play structure erected. It is similar to a steel structure at Kiwanis Park, he said.

Another crew is building a form for a restroom slab, which is expected to be poured soon. Hartzell said a crane will be brought in to lift the pre-fabricated restrooms onto the slab later this month, but the facilities won't be opened for use until the threat of freezing subsides, probably in March or April.

A special safety surface called "engineered wood fiber" will be placed beneath the play structure, according to Hartzell. The same type of material has been used under the equipment at Pioneer Park and Kiwanis Park.

"We have lots of trees coming in," Hartzell said Thursday, adding that tree-planting is under way. More trees are expected to arrive in March, he said, noting that the city has ordered a wide variety for Grecian Heights Park.

"We're trying to get an arboretum going at this particular park," he said.

Two picnic shelters have been purchased and delivered to Grecian Heights Park. One crew will begin assembling and erecting them as soon as it is finished with the restrooms, probably next month, Hartzell said.

"Two backstops are on order," he added, "so we'll have two more softball fields active on the south side of the park. When one crew is finished with the play structure they'll put in the softball backstops."

Dave Byrd, department director, said the $300,000 project is being funded half by the city and half by a matching grant from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The city plans a youth program at Grecian Heights Park this summer, he said, in addition to the programs normally conducted at other parks.

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