VALPARAISO — Work will begin this fall on the infrastructure for the city's new dog park and horticultural center on Campbell Street.
The park board recently awarded a contract to Gariup Construction of Gary to complete infrastructure work, including installing sewers, water and fencing, along with paving on the 14-acre Clifford property. The cost is about $450,000.
Park Superintendent John Seibert said this is the first phase of the project. A second phase, which will involve the construction of a pavilion and restroom facility, will be bid on this winter with construction in the spring and opening of the park in late spring or early summer.
The project, which officials had initially hoped to complete this year, was pushed back after initial bids came in over budget. Seibert said to lower the costs, the scope of the project was pared and some of the work is being done in-house.
The horticultural center, now located on one acre on Harrison Boulevard, will have five acres at the new site. The new site will also be a satellite facility for the city's public works department.
Staff members have already begun work on some of the amenities for the horticulture facility, which is located on the south side of the property.
Seibert said they are working with area veterinarians, dog trainers, animal control officials, Lakeshore Paws and law enforcement K9 units to develop policies for the dog park.
The dog park is being funded half through park impact fees and half through private donations. So far, Seibert said, they have raised $200,000 in donations and will be working with the Valpo Parks Foundation to raise another $100,000 for the project.