Parklands plans revealed

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Sourced from Dubois County Free Press

The plan for The Parklands is available for the public to peruse.

Developed by Hafer PSC of Owensboro and Rundell Ernstberger Associates of Indianapolis, the plans were revealed to the public and members of the Jasper Common Council Wednesday evening.

The pair of representatives — Pete Andriot, Principal with Rundell Earnstberger Associates and Jeff Justice president with Hafer PSC — presented the elements of the city’s central park to those attending the public meeting.

The plan includes a 2-mile walking trail around the perimeter of the entire property that will provide access to nature-themed play and exercise structures. An attractive feature for children will be the addition of a splash pad and areas for climbing and exploring.

Additionally, a pavilion is planned that will be able to handle a group of around 100 people and will include a kitchen and restrooms for events.

One of the most intriguing draws to the park will be the three bodies of water that featuring flowing water between them over rocks. That will be accomplished with pumps that keep the flow going.

A parking area off of 15th Street will handle just over 100 vehicles.  Additional parking will be available in the KlubHaus 61 parking lot.

Jasper Park Board president Roger Seger is hopeful the final drawings will be completed by September 30 in time to release the bid packages by October 12. The bid opening will be completed at the November 8 park board meeting. If they stay on schedule, construction could begin in spring of 2017 with a grand opening of the completed project in the spring of 2018.

“They’ve been at this six or seven months now, and I think they did a great job. And if this all comes in conservatively we can add a bunch of alternatives and be excited about what we’ve got out there,” Seger added.

Those alternatives include features like the creation of meadow, a hilltop road and parking lot, additional boardwalks, fitness stations, irrigation as well as a wider trail width of 10 feet.

Seger said the goal was to create a park that could provide a multitude of uses. Not justa park, but a destination park in which there are weddings, prom photo shoots and other events that will take advantage of the pavilion and new aesthetics, he explained.

The initial cost estimates to build out the Parklands was in the $8 million range, but the board sent the engineers back to cut it down to $5,630,000.

Seger went through the funding of the plan saying that the Parks Board has secured total funding of $5,640,000.00, including the $4 million from the City of Jasper, private donations of $1.2 million, an endowment of $175,000 to fund on-going maintenance and upkeep, a land and water conservation grant of $200,000 and hopefully, a $100,000 grant or gift to fund the fitness stations. This in addition to the $240,000 left from the original appropriation of $300,000 to get the project going.