Terry Trueblood project enters final construction phase, will open in August

BY MICHELLE KIM | APRIL 25, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Terry Trueblood Recreation Area currently has 80 percent of its third and final phase completed, and it will finally hold its grand opening this summer.

Iowa City Parks and Recreation Director Mike Moran said the city’s soon-to-be largest park in Iowa City has maintained its budget so far and will have its formal opening Aug. 24-25. The total budget for the entire construction project was roughly $6.4 million.

The area will become the first lake-recreation location that the city has created. It will serve as a location of different facilities, including a recreation trail, marina and concession area, fishing jetties, canoe landing, an overlook shelters, and a beach facility.

Officials said they hope it will also become a desirable place for special events.

“It will be available for rent, so people could use [the facility] for wedding receptions, parties, and reunions,” Moran said.

Johnson County Supervisor Terrence Neuzil said the Trueblood area is a remarkable investment made by the city. He said he drives past the area once in a while and is surprised to see the park’s transition.

The Trueblood Recreation area is 207 total acres with a lake that is 95.5 acres of surface area along the Iowa River on South Gilbert Street.

The recreation area extends from Sycamore Street all the way to McCollister Blvd.

“I drove past that area for my job for 19 years, and it kind of went from a piping construction area to a junky cement area, and now it’s beautiful,” Neuzil said. “I like the idea that people can canoe, kayak, have a place to fish, swim, and then there’s the whole aspect of a really nice trail system around the lake.”

The extensive, horseshoe shaped walking trail was completed last year as Phase 1 and 2. The planning for the project started in 2006.

The Iowa City City Council approved phase three of the project with a unanimous 7-0 vote in March.

Phase 3 will include a lodge with large outdoor terrace for hosting indoor and outdoor events, a small boat marina, concession areas, beach, bathhouse, and an array of other outdoor attractions.

Johnson County Supervisor Pat Harney said the wetland area is a perfect setting for the park and a great place for exercising.

“It’s a recreational area for either rural or urban places,” he said. “It’s well-maintained and a great aspect for the community as everyone can utilize and enjoy.”

And the diversity is something the whole community can take advantage of.

“[The park] really transformed from a site that wasn’t really sightly to something that is transformed and beautiful,” Neuzil said. “These are all great things for everyone in the community, but particularly those living in that area are really appreciating the investment.”

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