A public meeting will be held in the Wellington village hall gymnasium at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 30 to hear ideas on how to create a new park at the former McCormick Middle School site on Rt. 58.
“It’s a good idea to have one formal meeting to kick off community discussion,” said Wellington mayor Hans Schneider. “We didn’t want to take the next planning steps until the grass was established. A similar project in Wooster was recently completed that is a good example of the long process this will be.”
From concerns over what will become of existing trees to allowing two-way traffic on Dickson and Carpenter streets, the McCormick site has been a source of debate ever since the old school was demolished this spring.
An initial $10,000 estimate from a park planning contractor was reduced to approximately $8,100 after the village chose to hold the public meeting and appoint a park planning committee, according to village manager Steve Pyles.
“We’ve gotten good tips and suggestions from the (Lorain County) Metro Parks,” he said. “There is good soil there for future building. You always run the risk of damaging soil during a demolition project of that size, especially one with a basement. We did it the right way in making sure that all construction debris left the site and with new soil being brought in where it was needed.”
No date has been set for the removal of a construction fence surrounding the park. The village is looking at a mid-fall timeline to have two concept plans ready for council to look at, according to Pyles.
“The fence belongs to the school’s contractor,” he said. “I think they’re keeping it there just to allow the grass to settle before it starts being walked on.”
The village has inspected all trees on the property to see whether they have been damaged beyond repair by the ash bore beetle — a common pest in Wellington for trees and plants. The damage does not appear to be extensive but the village will not cover costs to repair the trees at this time. Those who wish to see the trees preserved are welcome to voice their concerns to the village, Pyles said.
“We didn’t find much evidence of damage from the beetle,” he said. “It’s a fairly expensive process to treat the trees. We don’t have the capability to cover the treatment. The families are welcome to cover the costs if they can get it touch with a certified professional.”
Schneider said an effort could be made to plant new varieties of trees at the park to give Wellington students a local option for leaf collecting projects rather than having to travel to Oberlin.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Grass is growing and construction debris is gone from the old McCormick site, where playground equipment still stands. Wellington village council wants to hear what residents think the next step should be in park planning.