The City is continuing to make improvements to Memorial Park, in accordance with its Master Improvement Plan. At this time, the focus is the Memorial Park all-purpose walking trail.
The North Royalton City Council recently approved legislation that accepts the bid from the Ohio Paving and Construction Company that will complete the next step in the Memorial Park update plan. The bid, totaling $237,091.45 will fund a portion of the all-purpose trail project, which will eventually circle the entire property. This will be Phase 1 of the ultimate trail plan. The existing path will be incorporated into the pathway, which will circle from the tennis courts, to the most southernmost end of the pond. The master plan calls for two more paths, one which will take it out to the front of the property, around City Hall. The other will take it to the westernmost portion of the property, near the High School, according to Community Development Director, Tom Jordan. The trail will be ten feet wide and run 2,680 linear feet, according to Jordan. The project includes erosion control, demolition/clearing, an 8-inch limestone base course, a 1/4 Type 1 asphalt surface course, 2-inch type 2 asphalt intermediate course, tack coat, prime and fog seal, seeding, mulching, topsoil, and fertilizer, among other items.
The plan to renovate the park began in fall, 2020, when City Administrators commissioned Cleveland-based Behnke Landscape Architecture for the project. According to Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz, the plan is “to design and implement upgrades there that will rejuvenate the space and better utilize this asset to its full potential.” Memorial Park sits on about thirty-one acres, located on the west side of State Road, between North Akins Road and Royalton Road.
The plan for the updating of Memorial Park has been taking place in phases, including the completion of the splash pad, which opened this summer. It has also included the demolition and rebuilding of the upper pavilion, including a new concrete pad, grills and waste containers. The bridge that connects the small island has been updated and strengthened, as well as the naturalization of the banks around the pond. The upper pavilion, bathrooms and volleyball courts were re-opened last summer.
According to North Royalton Finance Director, Jenny Esarey, the city has received $100,000 from the Ohio state capital fund. The money was used for the bridge construction. The City received $200,000 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that will go toward the formation of the walking trail. The City received $1 million from Cuyahoga County for the park, which will help cover the cost of the pad, the shade structure, and the upper park improvements. According to Jordan, the City also received an additional $50,000 grant from Cuyahoga County, as well.
Antoskiewicz said that he does not have a concrete plan as to the next steps regarding the Memorial Park improvement at this time. He noted that the Council budget hearings will be starting this fall, where the next steps will be included in the discussion.
“Of the overall plan, about half of the projects are being completed. We have some big ticket items,” said Antoskiewicz. Some of the remaining portions of the overall plan that have not been completed yet include the refurbishing of the tennis and basketball courts, the indoor pavilion, repaving the parking lot and relocating the community garden, which, Antoskiewicz said will probably be the last thing that is addressed.
By GLORIA PLEVA KACIK