Third phase of Munster Community Park redevelopment coming into focus

2013-01-29T00:00:00Z Third phase of Munster Community Park redevelopment coming into focusLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

MUNSTER | Phase three of the Community Park redevelopment is coming into clearer focus after discussions last week between the Park Board and the Redevelopment Commission.

A joint meeting of the two groups included reviews of what has already been accomplished at the town’s oldest and largest park in the first two phases and how the newest facilities in the third phase fit into the overall plan.

Clay Johnson, assistant town manager, presented a graphic that depicts the positioning and more than $4.5 million estimated costs of those facilities in this third phase.

The new features coming to Community Park in the next construction season include:

• Four new Little League ball fields “A” through “D” with a projected total cost of $1,755,000

• Two new Babe Ruth ball fields, each costing $490,000 or $980,000 total

• Five buildings: new press box with restroom, $350,000; addition of concession stand to existing Little League press box. $75,000; new Little League press box with restroom, $350,000; new Babe Ruth press box with restroom, $350,000 and a new maintenance building, $160,000

• A new intersection north of the Lake County Public Library that will be the new entrance to Community Park, $250,000

• A roadway going north and south from the new intersection/entrance, $320,00

• Hardscape and general landscaping, $155,000.

• Site lighting, cost to be determined.

The town is acting as its own general contractor with Town Engineer James Mandon heading the project. A supervisor from Robinson Engineering of Merrillville has also been onsite four hours a day during the second phase of redevelopment.

Johnson recommended continuing to use The Linden Group of Munster as the architectural design consultant and Robinson as the engineering consultant for phase three.

“The town has budgeted $2.5 million in tax increment financing for Community Park,” Johnson said. “What that amount covers depends on the amount of areas to be redeveloped and the quality of the product.”

TIF money can be used for the Community Park redevelopment because it is located along Calumet Avenue, which is in the town’s TIF district.

Additional funding is being provided by park bond issues.

The Redevelopment Commission includes the five elected Town Council members and a nonvoting member of the Munster School Board. The commission has control of the TIF funds.

The appointed Park Board oversees the operations and activities of the Munster Parks and Recreation Department.

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