OKLAHOMA CITY - You’ve heard a lot about the upcoming Scissortail Park near the Oklahoma River, but there’s another park nearby getting a major renovation and name change.
The east side of Wiley Post Park at 20th and S. Robinson is pretty barren.
The Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park is one of the only areas with activity, but that will soon change with a $1.9 million enhancement project.
“This was land that needed more purpose, and this will serve the community. It gives an active space for families,” said Donna Cervantes, former director of historic Capitol Hill.
It will have a new basketball and futsal court, new bathrooms, a playground and picnic area. There will also be additions to the BMX bike facility.
“It’s not really a skateboard facility. They use it, but it’s not conducive to it so we’re actually adding some skate board elements within the Mat Hoffman Complex,” said Director of the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department Doug Kupper.
Paid for with leftover bond money from 2007, Kupper said it will stretch across 40 acres.
It will also include a name change to honor World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Manuel Perez, Jr.
“We will not only be honoring Manuel Perez as a Medal of Honor recipient, but we will actually be honoring all 30 Medal of Honor recipients that Oklahoma has,” Kupper said.
The Manuel Perez Park used to be north of the river. However, that changed in 2016 when they decided it would be more fitting here.
“Changing a park name or doing anything to change what’s already been dedicated, it’s hard and it wasn’t to take anything from Wiley Post. In fact, it was to improve it because the east side had never really been dedicated,” Cervantes said.
It’s part of a larger effort to revitalize the Capitol Hill area, which is already growing with the upcoming MAPS 3 park.
“It does take community dollars to transform this district that has great strong history but had declined,” Cervantes said.
It’s an area with a lot of changes ahead. The deadline for construction bids is next Thursday.