CROWN POINT — Property that was once a brownfield site is being transformed into a $10 million recreational complex just off the downtown square.

Bulldog Park is being developed on a 2-acre site along West Street next to Wheeler Middle School.

The project will have numerous amenities including a 16,000-square-foot, two-story multifunction event center, an Olympic-sized ice rink, splash pads and an amphitheater/band shell that can accommodate 1,500 people for concerts and theater performances.

The ice rink will have a controlled atmosphere that will allow for hockey as well as skating.

Crown Point Mayor David Uran said Thursday the ice rink should be open by late November or early December.

"The two-story facility will have two meeting rooms. The event center will replace the civic center at the old civil defense building downtown. Senior activities currently taking place at the civic center will move to the new event center at Bulldog Park," the mayor has said.

Uran also said the move means the city no longer will have to close downtown streets to accommodate festival crowds. Festivals will be shifted over to Bulldog Park, and it also will be home to the Thursday night car cruises.

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"People will be able to come to the park and enjoy the performing arts, sports or the festivals," he said. "We're a family-oriented community. We also will open our doors to showcase our community to our visitors."

The city plans to redevelop the civil defense building once the new Bulldog Park opens.

Uran said the city acquired the land for Bulldog Park from the Crown Point Community School Corp. The project also received a donation from the Dean and Barbara White Foundation as well as local TIF dollars.

One of the many benefits, Uran said, is the center is being built on what was once previously blighted area.

"That used to be the school system's old school bus garage," he said. "It was a brownfield area. This development is an extension of the square, and, if you look around the square, there are no vacant buildings. We are a vibrant community. It's going to attract people from all over Northwest Indiana to Crown Point."

Hasse Construction Co. leads the completion of Bulldog Park.

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Southlake County Reporter

Carmen is an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Times newspaper for 20 years. Before that she also had stints at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., The Post-Tribune and The News Dispatch in Michigan City.