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The Journal Gazette

  • Landin Golden going in for a layup during a basketball tournament at the 2nd Annual Curenival fundraiser at Havenhurst Park in New Haven. (Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette)

Friday, April 06, 2018 1:00 am

'Aggressive' wish list OK'd for New Haven parks


At the top of the wish list for the New Haven-Adams Township Parks & Recreation Department: a new $4 million fieldhouse.

Developing the facility by 2020 is contained in the final version of a five-year plan the agency's board approved after a public presentation and hearing Monday night.

Mike Clendenen, parks superintendent, said the plan, which outlines $6.837 million in spending, is not carved in stone. The fieldhouse idea, like some others in the plan, will be advanced “only as funding allows.”

But he said the fieldhouse, which could contain several basketball courts and an indoor walking track, is seen as one of several enhancements for the property at 7500 Indiana 930 E., home of New Haven's new Community Center.

The center, officially opened in 2017, sits on 13 acres plus a newly acquired 17 acres adjacent to the west back side of the property, Clendenen said.

“So we have a lot of options here as far as ground,” he said.

Also included in the plan for the community center are sand volleyball courts, locker rooms, a splash pad, an accessible playground and basketball courts.

Those items carry a collective price tag of $970,000, with the largest expense, locker rooms, projected to cost $345,000. They are seen as a need for those who use exercise equipment or take classes at the center, Clendenen said.

The facilities could not be included when the community center was renovated because of time and cost, he said.

The volleyball courts are projected at $250,000, the splash pad at $175,000, the playground at $150,000 and the basketball courts at $50,000.

The five-year plan also includes improvements at eight other New Haven parks and the River Greenway trail system. Work on the Six Mile Creek Trail from the community center to Moeller Road is proposed by 2022 for $90,000.

The biggest single price tag among the other improvements is $350,000 for a four-season pavilion at Haskamp Park by 2021. Plans for that park include about $115,000 in bridge, pond and parking lot improvements by 2020 and development of a master plan for the park this year.

Two baseball diamonds would be added and Diamonds 4 and 5 would be renovated for $200,000 by 2021 at Havenhurst Park, which would also get $100,000 in additional parking.

Wehrling Park improvements targeted by 2022 are a pavilion and restrooms for $250,000, a $175,000 splash pad, $150,000 for an accessible playground and $50,000 in outdoor fitness equipment.

Targeted for Jury Park this year are basketball and pickleball courts and new tennis court fencing for $125,000. Proposed for next year are a $45,000 climbing wall at the pool and additional parking for $55,000.

Also targeted for this year are a $25,000 conversion of a bathhouse into a three-season pavilion at Meadowbrook Park and a $15,000 parking lot repair at Moser Park, which also is slated for an undated and unpriced dog park created from a baseball diamond.

Targeted for next year are replacing the pavilion and playground at Klotz Park for $150,000. Schnelker Park is targeted for $20,000 in additional lighting by 2020.

Clendenen, calling the five-year plan “a pretty aggressive plan,” said money must be found for many of the proposals.

But he said some might be received through a state Stellar Communities grant being arranged by the New Allen Alliance, which works on finding financing for projects in small and unincorporated communities in east Allen County.

“I stressed to the board and to the public that these are items on the wish list,” Clendenen said, “providing (that) funding can be found.”