KENDALLVILLE – The newest gathering place in Kendallville is already under construction.
Less than four months after the city launched a fundraising blitz to raise donations for the park in front of City Hall, work has already started to lay the groundwork and complete the park largely from here Christmas.
When complete, the park will provide the city with another downtown gathering place, with plenty of seating, space for food trucks, and an area that can accommodate the city’s mobile stage for downtown events. .
Susan Jansen, a member of the local committee that planned and designed the park, said the effort to raise funds for the project has received an incredible response.
“It’s crazy. We had four individual donors of $ 25,000 and we received support from the (Kendallville Redevelopment Commission) gave us $ 25,000. We won a few grants that we applied for for the park and it There were several larger donations, so luckily in a very small town we were able to collect enough to set up the landscape and build the park, ”Jansen said.
The group was aiming for a total of $ 216,000, which would be enough for the estimated construction cost of $ 138,000 as well as enough money to cover annual landscaping costs for at least 20 years.
Jansen said the campaign has yet to reach that ultimate goal, but has raised enough to kick off construction now and continue to build up the maintenance fund.
As fall and winter approaches, the pocket park will not be 100% complete this year, but residents should hopefully see substantial improvements by the time the snow hits. settles down.
“We hope the concrete work will be completed around mid-October, then the masonry will start and it will take about a month,” Jansen said. “We hope that by the Christmas parade the pocket park will look good.”
The sod could be laid before winter, but other plantings will have to wait until spring. That, and the pandemic has caused significant delays in the supply of vinyl fencing, so the city will likely not have decorative fencing until next year, either.
The city hopes to host a community Christmas tree in the new Pocket Park this winter and will also have a bright decorative ornament made by Kammerer Dynamics that will return after its debut in 2020.
The pocket park will include a central square and numerous seats in the form of benches as well as picnic tables. The tables could seat up to 28 people, as well as benches that could seat 40 people or more in the park.
Two pergolas will be built by local metal maker Kammerer Dynamics to help shade the grounds and the park will be landscaped with two places for food trucks as well as a place for the city to set up its mobile stage to make a space for acts. musical or other performances.
The park will also feature a large mural to add public art to the space and add a “hide and seek” opportunity for children as well as the opportunity to learn more about Indiana’s heritage.
Jansen said the pocket park will be one more addition to the transformational projects Kendallville sees downtown.
“We’ve seen so many wonderful changes happening downtown with The Alley project, the streetscape project, this incredible $ 2 million grant that we just received for downtown revitalization and that is a huge part of it all, ”she said. “(The park is) just a wonderful place where people can enjoy the vibe that will continue to improve. We have so many people working to revitalize our downtown area. It’s just one more stone in the crown.”