WEST SPRINGFIELD – The Park & Recreation Department
unveiled its preliminary design for the Mittineague Park entrance renovation at the Town Council meeting on June 16.
A $400,000 Massachusetts Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant made the project possible. The total cost of the project is $620,000. Community Preservation Act funds provided the remaining $220,000.
Peter Wells of The Berkshire Design Group is overseeing the design process. The main goal of the changes are to create more accessibility to the park and to deter drivers from using unauthorized paths to access features such as the horseshoe pits and community gardens.
Park & Recreation Director Victoria Connor outlined the changes, which she anticipated would be complete by January 2015.
Two “bump outs” will be added to the road to the UNICO building; parking areas and roadway access to Santa’s House and the horseshoe pits would be repaved; the community gardens will be overhauled to included 82 plots; a new pedestrian bridge would be created; and the guardrails along the roadway would be extended to prohibit drivers from trampling the meadow and lawn areas, she explained.
Wells added that shade and flowering trees would also be planted and a lighted flagpole would be installed.
He noted that more Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant spaces would be added and some of the garden plots would be accessible by wheelchair. He said the goal is to create “natural” and “durable” improvements to the park.
District 2 Town Councilor Lida Powell’s questioned whether programs would be interrupted during the makeover.
“Our goal is to minimize the amount of impact to residents during the construction process,” Wells said. “Each area can be worked on separately.”
In other action, the public hearing regarding the Entertainment Resort Overlay District was continued to a special meeting of the Town Council on July 7 at 6 p.m.