One of the oldest parks in Las Vegas is getting a much-needed makeover.
On Thursday, crews will start renovating Baker Park near Sahara and Maryland Parkway.

The project, which has been a long time coming will not only benefit people who live in the area but also students who attend school right next to the park.

The City of Las Vegas made the decision after a number of meetings with residents expressing many concerns.

“We came here to play basketball and the bathrooms over there; there’s like always homeless people, and we can never play because they’re always scaring us or they are sleeping on the slides,” said Shaylene Pauline-Bishop, park goer. “We just feel like the park needs to be redone.”    

The City of Las Vegas released renderings of what the park will eventually look like, and the $7.3 million project will help pay for a new water play area, soccer fields with artificial grass, restrooms and some upgrades to the pool.

“I guess we’re all for it as long as there is no crime and you know drug problems and stuff like that, especially with it being so close to the school,” said Desirae Pierce, resident in the area.

Students at Fremont Middle School use areas of Baker Park.  The City of Las Vegas says it will continue sharing the space with the school after the renovations are completed.

“I went to that middle school,” said Aleah Hildebrandt.  “I use to come here and hang out with friends, but there were no homeless people out. I don’t think so; maybe a few but that’s it.”

Back in 2012, the city spent $140,000 upgrading a turf field and installing a picnic area.  The latest renovations are a much bigger part of the project.

Portions of the park will be closed throughout at least the end of next year. The pool will remain closed until the summer of 2020.

“I’d come back with my niece and my whole family, said Pauline-Bishop. “We’d come, but we don’t come because of the homeless people, but if that were to be changed, we would definitely come back.”

There is a number of upcoming park projects throughout the City of Las Vegas.  Check them out here.