City Considers Two Proposals For New Park Space

Staff Writer

Council leaders and local residents were treated to a presentation by the Jones Petrie Rafinski Engineers and the Moake Park Group to discuss what ideas residents have for the new parks space that will be made available once the old Columbia City High School is demolished. The meeting was held on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at City Hall.

According to JPR Landscape Architect Andrew Cunningham, the property is about 56 acres in size. There is a four phase process that involves discovery to see what opportunities and strengths are out there to see what information can be utilized. The visioning stage involves taking into consideration community engagement. The design concepts and alternative stage features the feedback from the public, and the last phase for refinement involves refining the final concept. Local residents in the area gave their input during a meeting in July at the Peabody Public Library, and were also given the opportunity to voice their opinions in surveys.

“Over 1,000 folks from Columbia City responded on the online survey, which is fantastic. The major priorities that came out of that survey were multi-functionality by making sure that it’s designed for a diverse demographic of users, not just one user group. There would be community gatherings and social spaces, so that would be things like the pavilion space, performance space and shelters, and of course active recreation. We are embracing the existing natural elements by giving visitors access to the woodland features and the river with programming elements for personal use, whether that’s walking trails or fitness, places for respite to walk your dog and sit on a bench. Another priority was making sure we programmed areas for revenue generation, so we provide a sustainable maintenance and funding model,” Cunningham said.

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