Chesterton Tribune



Chamber to honor Park Department for splash pad and new playground

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The Chesterton Park Department’s birthing this summer of a new playground at Dogwood Park and the splash pad at Chesterton Park--both projects midwifed, as it were, by the Park Board and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell--has been recognized by the Duneland Chamber of Commerce.

At its annual Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, July 19, the Chamber will present a New Construction Award to the Park Department.

So Superintendent Bruce Mathias announced at the Park Board’s meeting Tuesday night.

The Dogwood playground has been open for use for several weeks now. The splash pad was opened on July 5 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Chamber. Both were projects funded by a $2-million bond issued late in 2015.

Member Paul Shinn took a moment at the end of the meeting to express his gratitude to Mathias, O’Dell, and Park Department Administrator Hilary Thomas-Peterson for their hard work in seeing both projects through to completion. Shinn also thanked Chamber President Maura Durham for organizing the very fine ribbon-cutting.

Project Updates

In other business, Mathias reported that the new playground at Chesterton Park has also been mulched and is now open. The new playground at Olde Towne Park has been mulched too, he said, but the contractor has yet to remove some equipment.

The total cost of the three new playgrounds: $242,906. Total cost of their installation: $82,000. Total cost of mulching them, in lieu of installing much more expensive fall-protection turf: $3,000.

The cost of the splash pad: $104,686. Cost of its installation: $195,770.

Dogwood Park Restroom

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to reject the only quote received for pouring a concrete foundation for the new restroom at Dogwood Park. The quote, submitted by Gariup Construction Company of Gary: $57,000.

According to a motion read by Member Candy Tucker, the board opted to reject the quote because it proved significantly higher than O’Dell’s estimate of $25,000 to $32,000, probably because most contractors in the area “have already obtained and scheduled their projects for the summer.”

Members agreed instead to authorize Mathias and O’Dell to negotiate a foundation contract in the open market.

The restroom itself has been purchased, at a cost of $131,140, from Concrete Modular Systems Inc. of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Kipper and Waskom

By unanimous votes members also authorized DLZ, its contracted engineering consultant, to proceed with the technical design of upgrades to Kipper Park in the Westchester South subdivision and Waskom Park in the Ironwood subdivision, after approving preliminary drawings for both.

In Kipper Park all playground equipment and the basketball court will be removed and replaced with a pair of play structures designed for kids 2-5 and 5-12. Pavers will be installed, a shelter, a couple of benches, and greenery, the idea being to convert the park from an active-use facility to a more passive-use. Total estimated cost: $202,150.

Waskom Park, on the other hand, will remain an “active” facility, with a brand-new ADA playground, basketball and tennis courts, shelter, and sidewalk. Total estimated cost: $489,520, with asphalt walking surfaces; or $532,420, with concrete walking surfaces.

Chesterton Art Fair

Earlier in the meeting, Wendy Marciniak--the executive-director of the Chesterton Art Center and of the Chesterton Art Fair--told the board from the floor that the Art Fair organizers are “very excited to be at Dogwood Park again this year,” after the “great response” from artists and visitors alike to the new venue in 2016.

“It’s great to work with Bruce,” Marciniak added. “He’s always smiling, always happy, always wanting to help.”

Posted 7/13/2017





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