There were two meetings on Tuesday at Great Burn Brewery sponsored by Missoula Parks and Recreation to update the public on the progress of the Fort Missoula Regional Park.

Director of Missoula Parks and Recreation, Donna Gaukler, said the meetings were to help the public stay up-to-date on Phases 1 and 2 of the construction project made possible by a $40 million bond passed in 2014 by Missoula voters.

"Construction on Phase 1 is underway," Gaukler said. "We hope to have the hardscape, that's the trails, plaza, pavilions, and playgrounds available to the public in late October of this year. Then, we hope to have the field turf grasses available sometime next spring."

Gaukler says Phase 2 will start in the fall.

"We hope to start demolition of Phase 2, which is the existing Fort Missoula Park later this fall go through construction most of next year," she said. "That, too, will open in a hardscape in fall of '17, and greenscape sometime in spring or summer of '18."

Gaukler said even though Fort Missoula is a 'Regional Park', it is being designed to host soccer and softball tournaments that would bring considerable revenue to the city and county.

"There is an athletic complex within that regional park that finally meets the standards necessary to be able to host state, regional or national tournaments," Gaukler continued. "That would include slow pitch and fast pitch softball and any of the  rectangular-field sports, so our tourism industry and local businesses are ecstatic, and they've been huge supporters of the project all the way through."

Gaukler said in less than two years the entire Fort Missoula Regional Park will be completed.

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