Early designs for a new park at the former site of McCormick Middle School on Dickson Street were shown Monday by planners.
Eric Brubeck, a park designer from North Royalton, has been hired by the village to oversee development and give suggestions to the park planning committee.
His design implements items discussed in past meetings such as a fountain, playground, gazebo, area for games such as bocce ball and cornhole, as well as entrances at all surrounding intersections.
“We want a lot of trees so shade can be provided for plenty of nice picnic areas,” said Brubeck. “I visited Tappan Square in Oberlin and was really trying to get that feel here. The areas marked for games like bocce ball don’t have to be designated for just one activity. They can just be open grass areas too.”
Four main walkways in the design are linked by smaller ones in between and all lead to a fountain squarely in the middle of the site. Trees surround most of the outer edges with others placed in a matter very similar to Tappan Square.
Brubeck said no cost estimates have been tallied yet but he will have some once the project moves further along.
“As I traveled to different parks throughout the area, it was the trees that really made them what they are,” he said. “The building of this site can also be phased in a lot of different ways. If the pavilion is a priority we can start there. Maybe some of these main walks could be put in first. I think it’s important to get the trees in as soon as possible to give them time to grow.”
Committee member Terry Mazzone asked about creating a dedication for Fred Alspach, who chaired the committee until his death July 19 in a scooter crash.
Mayor Hans Schneider called for a moment of silence in Alspach’s honor at the start of the meeting and said another chairman won’t be named.
“There are a lot of organizations who are interested in contributing to (Alspach’s) hometown park,” he said. “They want to help fund something here that will be good for the park and what we’re doing here but also an honorable recognition for Fred. I told them it’s a bit early to say exactly what it will be, but we’re definitely interested.”
Once the committee decides on a final design, it will be sent to village council for approval.
Schneider has targeted next June to dedicate the park in time for the village’s bicentennial celebration, but doesn’t expect the project to be completed by then.
An online contest to name the park is expected to be held later this year. Committee meetings are held the first and third Monday of each month and are open to the public.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
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