The Streator Parks and Open Spaces Board continues to discuss ways to spruce up Central Park, across Elm Street from the former Sherman School building.
The board discussed a variety of additions, with new equipment, curbs and lighting as some suggestions to improve the park.
The board met at Central Park on Wednesday to get a better understanding as to the current inventory.
City Manager Scot Wrighton explained that only the south side of the park has a curb and gutter, but surrounding the park could make it easier on the eyes.
“That’s likely to be the most expensive part of the park we have actually, the concrete around it, but it will really dress it up and it’ll look less frayed on the edges,” Wrighton said.
Board member Afton Caulkins also presented examples of young play equipment for ages 2 to 5, as a follow-up to her previous comments during the last board meeting regarding her hope to see additional equipment for younger children.
Public Works Director Larry Hake reminded the board that replacing and painting panels on the roof of the shelter and new swing equipment is currently on the agenda.
The board suggested adding signage inside the park identifying it as Central Park as well as possible navigation signage to the park. A pavement walkway from the shelter to the water fountain and parking area also were suggested, as well as additional benches and tables.
Bathrooms were ruled out because the board believes most people using the park will be neighborhood residents, but they could consider a bathroom addition if the park becomes more popular for events.
Additional lighting planned
The Foreign Service (China) Group, which owns the former Sherman School building, has expressed interest in supporting the park’s renovation.
The group already has donated the play equipment from the corner of Indiana and Kent streets to the city, which will be installed south of the shelter in the next month or two.
The board expects to also ask the group to assist in funding some additional lighting.
The board suggested lighting along the center sidewalk as well as under the shelter would benefit the area without being intrusive to neighbors.
Wrighton suggested cameras also may be a good addition.
Board member Tim Martin said he’s heard from prior residents in the area that the site has attracted attention other than young kids at night.
“This was a location where I heard not a lot of good things were going on,” he said.
“I’d like to see some kind of lighting to deter a little bit of that or have the police do a drive-by every once in a while,” he added.
The revisions will be brought before the park board at its next meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at City Hall prior to voting by the City Council.