Gilbert youths have more room to play.
On Saturday, a grand opening celebration was held for the town’s $5.5 million expansion of McQueen Park from 20 acres to 41 acres.
"It’s a great place for kids to go," said resident David Lee, 45, a coach for Gilbert’s National Little League and the father of two boys.
The expansion includes four lighted ballfields, an 11,800-square-foot gymnasium, a 2-acre lake, two multi-use fields, three ramadas and trails.
"Those four fields are the main part of the expansion," said Gilbert spokesman Greg Svelund. "About 35 percent of our residents are under the age of 18. It’ll make a big difference for them."
Gilbert residents Mark Nelson, 33, and Katherine Nelson, 31, and their 2-yearold daughter Megan joined Mayor Steve Berman and others for the dedication.
"It’s nice to have more open space," said Mark Nelson, who added that his family has been coming to the park for three years.
McQueen Park was already a popular place for Gilbert’s youths. An activity center at the site where children play games and take classes has been a big draw.
Construction for the expansion was funded by bonds approved by Gilbert voters in November 2001, with other costs being paid by the town’s General Fund and a $252,000 state grant.