“Adventurous” $10 million revamp of Paco Sanchez Park is in full swing now

One of Denver’s largest playgrounds will be finished in Paco Sanchez Park early this summer — and the area’s set for another major upgrade right after that.

Paco Sanchez Park's new playground/sign mashup, Oct. 31, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Paco Sanchez Park's new playground/sign mashup, Oct. 31, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; west colfax; paco sanchez park; playground;
Paco Sanchez Park’s new playground/sign mashup, Oct. 31, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

One of Denver’s largest playgrounds is expected to be finished in Paco Sanchez Park early summer 2018 — and the area’s set for another major upgrade right after that.

Currently, crews are installing some very colorful, intricate equipment atop a hill on the north side of the park, which runs along Lakewood Gulch and the W rail line.

Here’s what that first phase will look like:

A rendering of a play area meant for Paco Sanchez Park. A plaza envisioned for Paco Sanchez Park. (City of Denver/Dig Studio/PORT Urbanism/Independent Architecture)
A rendering of a play area meant for Paco Sanchez Park. (City of Denver/Dig Studio/PORT Urbanism/Independent Architecture)

And they’ve already installed the big PACO sign at the top of this post, in honor of the late Paco Sanchez, a neighborhood leader who became a state representative.

The second phase:

The bonds package approved by Denver voters this week included $6.6 million for the completion of this project, which could cost close to $10 million in all. That second phase is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2019.

It likely will include:

  • A natural amphitheater with a small stage.
  • A kiosk where people can rent athletic gear.
  • A plaza that could include outdoor classroom space.
  • A “play loop” with different stations.

“The series of spaces sort of creates this natural desire to run up and down, to follow all these paths and keep exploring, one leading to the other,” said Michael Bouchard, assistant director of design and construction for Denver parks.

The park will be one of the largest examples of the new “active” philosophy that Denver’s embracing in its parks.

“The point is, it’s not just a playground. It’s redesigning a park that was underutilized to begin with, bringing things to do that the residents just haven’t had before.”

An artist's rendering of Paco Sanchez Park after a few million of upgrades. A plaza envisioned for Paco Sanchez Park. (City of Denver/Dig Studio/PORT Urbanism/Independent Architecture)
An artist’s rendering of Paco Sanchez Park after a few million dollars of upgrades. (City of Denver/Dig Studio/PORT Urbanism/Independent Architecture)
A rendering of the long-term plan for a recreational area in Paco Sanchez Park. A plaza envisioned for Paco Sanchez Park. (City of Denver/Dig Studio/PORT Urbanism/Independent Architecture)
A rendering of the long-term plan for a recreational area in Paco Sanchez Park. (City of Denver/Dig Studio/PORT Urbanism/Independent Architecture)
Playground structures planned for Paco Sanchez Park. A plaza envisioned for Paco Sanchez Park. (City of Denver/Dig Studio/PORT Urbanism/Independent Architecture)
Playground structures planned for Paco Sanchez Park. (City of Denver/Dig Studio/PORT Urbanism/Independent Architecture)

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.