The image of a new park at the former McCormick Middle School property is starting to get a bit clearer.
Fred Alspach, a member of the park planning committee and former village council president, stopped by council’s last meeting to go over what’s come out of brainstorming sessions.
Consensus seems to be creating a new entrance on South Main Street, installing a sidewalk that would stretch through the park’s middle, and possibly even a fountain toward the 4.5 acre property’s west end.
“All plans are preliminary at this point and nothing has been finalized,” he said. “Through due diligence of the committee members and the help of Mr. Mark Bughman, we’ve visited various parks throughout the area in places like Ashland, Lodi, and Media. We’ve even gathered ideas from outside Ohio.”
Oberlin’s Tappan Square was mentioned numerous times as an inspiration for the park’s future in terms of the number of trees, plants, and flowers it will contain.
“The initial third of the park off of Main Street would remain heavily wooded,” said Alspach. “A nice entrance way would compliment that and show off the ultimate park name. Existing concrete for the most part would be eliminated. It’s not in good shape. A new central walk’s alternate paths would come together at the fountain.”
Toward the park’s east end, basketball courts, an amphitheater, and public restrooms have been proposed.
“We’d leave a stretch of concrete in that area for food concessions during events,” he said. “We’ve envisioned a small playground area at the corner of Courtland and Dickson. While all of this is on the table, again, nothing is concrete and it’s all subject to change.”
No mention of an expansion of parking on Dickson or Carpenter Street was included, with overflow expected to be handled in spaces located around village hall.
“There’s between 50 and 60 spots around the park right now,” said Alspach. “Any extra ones needed are just a half-block walk away. There’s another 90 or so parking spots behind village hall and the police station.”
The next step for the committee will be finding a professional park planner.
“We’re looking forward to enhancing our ideas but no one at out table is a park planner,” Alspach said. “Now, we’re in hopes to bring in a professional to our next meeting and letting them look over what we’ve done so far. They’ll give us a better idea of what’s possible and what’s impossible. We’ve kind of reached a plateau in our efforts at this point.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.