Naftzger Park set to close at end of the month

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

"D" has been coming to Naftzger Park for years now and he had a lot to say about the city's plans for an upgrade here.

"When they talk about renovation what they're talking about is bulldozing everything that you see,” “D” said.

Located in the heart of the city, across from Intrust Bank Arena, the park has a history of attracting homeless.

"We think the park will be inviting for all people, regardless of your situation. But the reality is we hope, at some point in time, to cure homelessness in this community too,” Mayor Jeff Longwell said.

The city now plans on closing the park at the end of the month, transforming it to look like a modern urban park with spaces to eat lunch, walk your pet and enjoy the fresh air.

"The finished part will add to the great quality of life in our downtown corridor, serving everyone who lives, works and plays in the downtown area,” Longwell said.

"I think the Mayor is absolutely mislead by what he just said. If you think about it, it really doesn't make any sense because what he's saying is probably what they said when they put this park in here,” “D” said.

While some people that frequent this park think it's fine the way it is, others say it's in serious need of a cleanup and an upgrade.

"As you can see, the water and everything is a little bit rundown. It could use some improvements in our opinion. Especially for not only our dog, but the other people here,” A.J. Bassut, who lives near the park, said.

The park will officially be closed to all starting May 21st and should be completed sometime next fall.

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