In a regularly scheduled meeting Monday, Orange Township trustees addressed the remaining issues in order to open North Road Park.
“There has been a lot of interest in that park,” said Director of Operations Bill Cowen. “We do intend on taking reservations for field use in the spring of 2020 for soccer and cricket.”
Trustee Lisa Knapp talked about setting a date for a ribbon cutting on the new park “possibly in October.”
In a previous report from February 2017, the 22-acre park will have several soccer fields, parking for up to 300 vehicles, and a pond with running water but probably the most anticipated feature is the premier cricket field which was highly requested, according to township officials.
According to previous reports by officials, the land was donated by the Columbus-based reality company Planned Communities in the 1990s and the 2000s.
Cowen said he was in the process of tracking down the design drawings for the sign to the park so it could be put out for bids.
“We need the design drawings to get prices from the sign companies,” he said.
Cowen also said immediate consideration needs to be given to the installment of restroom facilities.
“When we start to play soccer there will be a lot of people,” he said. “We need some kind of restroom facility — whether it be ‘Port-A-Johns’ or permanent structures — we need to start looking at that real soon.”
Trustee Lisa Knapp indicated that she preferred building permanent a facility, with modifications, over the portable toilets.
“I would like to scale the restrooms down a little bit, they were pretty big,” she said. “They were huge for having five or ten soccer fields, not as small as the ones at the pool, but maybe somewhere in between that still meets the requirements.”
Cowen suggested that the scale of the restroom facilities would be dictated by the greatest possible number of park users at any given time.
Knapp said that she and Cowen had talked about giving the park an “extra growing season” for the new grass this year before starting to play soccer on the fields.
However, Knapp said that many of the residents are “antsy to use it” and that the park should be ready by September or October this year for light use such as people being able to “walk around and throw a ball around.”
Trustee Debbie Taranto asked Cowen about “assessing the needs as far the maintenance building goes” and possible playground pieces.
“We would like to look at playground things also,” Taranto said. “Equipment including special needs type of things.”
Cowen said he thought that a work season would be very helpful to talk about the facilities and equipment that will be apart of the park.
But, Trustee Ryan Rivers brought up the road construction in the area.
“We do have the short term challenge of the North Road construction,” he said.
Cowen said that the Delaware County Engineer’s Office wanted to have the North Road, Lewis Center Road construction finished by the fall.
Knapp said a firm date on the road opening was pivotal to opening the park.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.