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Vacant School Site Being Converted Into New Lonsdale Park

Look for work to begin shortly on demolition of much of the old vacant Sam E. Hill School - the first major step in converting the site into a new Lonsdale community park.

Part of the iconic school will be preserved, while the 150,000-square-foot site will be diversified to make room for sports, children’s play, and open space for community events. 

The space is still being designed, based on community input. Preliminarily, the new park could host Lonsdale Homecoming festivities and have a basketball court, a playground, and a covered pavilion with staging for food trucks. 

Community Meeting in Lonsdale
In public meetings and through surveys, City Parks and Recreation staff has been gathering input from Lonsdale residents on what features they want to be included as the new Lonsdale community park is designed. Pictured here is an April 27, 2023 community meeting at Lonsdale Elementary School.

The Sam E. Hill School gymnasium is being preserved. Parks and Recreation Director Sheryl Ely is hopeful that the initial park features will be added soon after the demolition is complete. 

“We’re working on a design that includes features that the community has asked for,” Ely said. “Right now, based on community input, the goal is to build a playground, an outdoor fitness station, a basketball court and a community event lawn. There would be a multi-use trail, picnic tables and a multi-purpose community room with restrooms.

“This will be done in phases, with the first phase being the demolition of much of the building to make room to build in more features.” 

Mayor Indya Kincannon's proposed 2023-24 budget includes $1 million for the Lonsdale Park project - a third budget year with investment for the park project, for a total of $2.5 million.

(Click images below for larger views in PDF format)

Lonsdale Park Programming rendering
Lonsdale Park Renovating Building rendering   Lonsdale Park Renovating Building plus adding Pavilion rendering

Click image below for all renderings in a PDF file (38MB)

Click image to view PDF presentation and renderings