Lake Lorna Doone Park to undergo $8 million in renovations

Orlando City Council approves plan in conjunction with Florida Citrus Sports

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando City Council unanimously approved an agreement that will pump up to $8 million into renovations for Lake Lorna Doone Park. 

Plans call for a splash pad, a fountain in the center of the lake, a community garden, a playground and new basketball courts. The renovations would also eliminate a portion of Rio Grande Avenue that cuts through the park. 

Tangia Hill-Smikle is a board member for the nearby Westlake neighborhood and has been championing the renovation effort for four years.

"It's about our parks, our kids and we want our families coming together and enjoying a space -- happy place -- like we had in the '70s," she said. 

The first racially integrated Little League baseball game in the South took place in the 1955.

The agreement calls for the city of Orlando to utilize up to $5 million for the project, with Florida Citrus Sports contributing another $3 million. 

 "When the stadium was renovated, we didn't want that to be the win in the neighborhood," Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan said. "So how could we figure out a way that its success could become a heartbeat, if you will, and connect the residents who live in the shadow of the building and together we could all rise?" 

"Many people come from around the nation to Camping World Stadium and so that will be a hub where the community and the nation will gather," Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill said.  

Organizers hope to have renovations begin in November. They said the work could take up a year and a half to complete, but they hope it will be mostly done within a year. 

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