The second phase of expansion at Norma Sutherland Smith Park is nearing an end, Columbia park planner Matt Boehner said Friday.

Boehner said the second phase of construction — including a new skate plaza — will be finished “hopefully within the next few months, weather permitting.”

The skate spot is nearing completion with some “touch-up work” remaining, he said. The city’s Parks and Recreation department celebrated the progress in a Facebook post last week.

The second phase, which started three years ago, included expanding the park with a playground, basketball court, baseball field, the new skate plaza and completing some walkways throughout the park, he said.

The playground, the baseball field and the basketball court have been open to the public since they were successively finished, and the skate spot will be open once it is finished. The playground opened in 2017, the baseball field in 2018 and the basketball court in 2019.

An 1.25-mile extreme fitness trail is still under construction and will not be finished at this phase, said Boehner.

The idea for the trail came from the growing popularity of obstacle races, such as Spartan Races, according to previous Missourian reporting.

Climbing and strength fitness will become the focus of this trail.

There will be several phases of park construction in the future, Boehner said, with construction timing depending on funding.

The project budget for phase one was $250,000, which was all from the park sales tax. The budget for the second phase was $375,000 — $225,000 from the park sales tax and $150,000 from the Land Water Conservation Fund.

The 50-acre park project began in 2014 and is located in northeast Columbia between Brown Station Road and Waco Road.

  • General Assignment Reporter, Winter 2019 | Copy Editor, Summer 2020 | Studying investigative and convergence journalism | Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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