VALPARAISO | Plans for the $1.2 million renovation of ValPlayso and the surrounding park will be finalized in the next week or two, but Valparaiso's Park Board received a preview of what it will look like Tuesday.
Christopher Waidner, civil project manager for The Troyer Group, the consultant hired to develop the plan, told the board alternatives were studied before reaching the concept that everyone appears ready to support.
It calls for putting the playground, being designed with the help of Leathers Associates, to the center of the park where the parking is now located. Parking for up to 126 vehicles would be built on the west side of the playground, and ball fields on the east side would be realigned and renovated.
The restrooms and a pavilion would be between the playground and the ball fields, and a trail head would be built at the entrance. Another feature connected to the playground would be a splash pad.
A detention pond would be built between the playground and the Thomas Jefferson school track. A walking path is proposed around the newly renovated park that would connect to the existing path on Glendale Boulevard, and a leg is proposed connecting it with the school parking area.
Parks Director John Seibert said the connection to the school and another path in the wooded area at the corner of Roosevelt Road and Glendale still has to be negotiated with the school system.
Rob Thorgren, who is heading up the fundraising committee, said the park easily could have cost $2 million or more if it had included everything people wanted. For a feature like the splash pad, which is estimated at $100,000, the city could spend more if a donor is found willing to do so.
"We've had a lot of people come forward even before they were asked who said they want to be part of this," Thorgren said.
The goal is to raise the money in time to do at least the playground portion in the fall, but Seibert said it would be great to be able to do it all as one package. If that isn't possible, it could be phased in as funding becomes available.