Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz is ready to start making improvements to the City’s Memorial Park. This comes after a presentation of the Memorial Park Master Plan (not to be confused with the City’s Master Plan) was delivered to the North Royalton City Council recently. The plan has also been shared with the City’s Recreation Committee.
In his State of the City Address, Antoskiewicz noted that the city has “been in the midst of another master planning effort for our Memorial Park to design and implement upgrades there that will rejuvenate the space and better utilize this asset to its full potential. We have hosted two open houses, seeking input from park users, to gather their suggestions regarding what they would like to see added here.” Antoskiewicz went on to talk about other improvements in the park, stating, “one of the planned upgrades for the Memorial Park Complex is the addition of a level-three, electric-vehicle charging station, covered by a grant through the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency in excess of $50,000. We will also install a level-two charging station at the North Royalton Family YMCA with assistance from a $15,000 grant through diesel mitigation from the EPA.”
Memorial Park, which sits on about thirty-one acres, is located on the west side of State Road, between North Akins Road and Royalton Road. The plan began last fall, when city administrators commissioned Cleveland-based Behnke Landscape Architecture for the project. Behnke is a“ leader in planning and designing award-winning outdoor places.
Currently, Memorial Park is the home of tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, a playground, a community garden, a skate park, a pavilion that overlooks a small lake and restroom facilities. It also has a walking trail and sports fields. Over the past few years, the size of the park has been expanded, with the purchase of property to the north and south of the original park.
The plan Behnke has drawn up is broken down into twenty-three sections of the park: State Road Frontage, Lot North of City Hall, City Hall Parking Lot, Wooded Hillside, Parking Lot, Skate Park, Shelter, Pond Island, Pond, Amphitheater Lawn, Area West and South of Pond, Great Lawn, Play Area, Bathrooms, Volleyball Courts, Shelter, New Splash Pad, All Purpose Trail, Soccer Field, Baseball Field, Soccer Field, Shot Put and Tennis/Basketball Courts.
Tom Zartoss, of Behnke Landscape Architecture, presented a slide show to Council at their June 15 Building and Building Codes Committee meeting, highlighting the planned improvements, which will be installed in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act.. Zartoss said that the improvements include reworking the tennis courts to possibly include pickleball, refurbishing the basketball, and volleyball courts, reconstructing the skate park, repaving the parking lot, relocating the community garden, a new pavilion, an all-season shelter, a stage area located on the island in the center of the pond including an amphitheater shelter, a splash pad and enhanced landscaping along State Road. The plan also includes an all-purpose trail, which would meander through Memorial Park.
Antoskiewicz invites residents to “look for that update on our City Facebook page and website.” The city’s website is He is hoping to get some things started this year. “I would like to replace the pavilion on the top of the hill. It’s old and dingy. I would also like to start working on the bridge and some of the landscaping around that. I think I can do that to get things started.,” he said. He indicated that he put some money away last year to put toward the project. He received a $100,000 grant from the state of Ohio that would be put toward those projects. The city’s Recreation Capital Improvement Fund can also be utilized for projects. Currently, there is $145,959.19 in fund 431 – recreation capital fund and $1,678,024.52 in fund 432 – future capital fund (being used for park upgrades to pavilion), according to North Royalton Finance Director, Eric Dean. Antoskiewicz also noted that funding which the city will receive from the American Recovery Act may pay for some recreational items. In addition, he said that there might be a few items that would be large enough to bond out. For next year, he is hoping to get the splash pad/shade pavilion installed. He hopes to apply for a Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) grant to redo the parking lot this fall.

Contributing Writer