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Valparaiso unveils early plans for Central Park pavilion, plaza

The pavililooking southw4est from Lafayette Street current Central Park Plaza.

The pavilion, looking southw4est from Lafayette Street and the current Central Park Plaza.

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Updated: May 24, 2014 6:24AM



VALPARAISO — The city has presented preliminary plans for the new pavilion that will extend Central Park west of Lafayette Street for a half-block.

Lafayette Street, between the current Central Park Plaza and the planned ice rink and activities center, will remain open and will be one way going south, according to the plan, and large planters will go into the street to block off traffic during special events.

Lafayette Street between Lincolnway and Indiana Avenue will be a “plaza and not so much a street. It’ll be there for people’s use through most of the year,” Victor Ritter, of Design Organization, said.

Parks Director John Seibert and Design Organization presented the design plans Tuesday to the site review committee. The design of the project won’t be completed until May 30, and construction plans are to be finished by about Aug. 25.

The city intends to award construction contracts Sept. 17, and contractors can start Oct. 1.

Ritter said the city wants the new area of the park finished in time for Popcorn Fest 2015, but officials won’t know the timetable until they hire the main contractor.

Valparaiso has budgeted $8.4 million for the project, which will consist of two buildings and a plaza that will have a water fountain-styled sculpture and an enclosed propane fireplace.

The 12,600-square-foot William E. Urschel Pavilion will be on the northwest corner of Indiana and Lafayette, an open-air building with wind screens and a translucent roof to let light in.

From November through February, it will have an ice rink and sometimes host youth hockey. The 6,350-square-foot activities center will have a spectator room for the ice rink, ice skate rentals, a concession stand, a conference room and green rooms for those performing at the existing amphitheater.

City staff had concerns about the preliminary design. Public works director Matt Evans suggested not using paving bricks to reconstruct Lafayette Street between the parks because snowplows tend to scrape off the tops as the bricks settle.

Evans also wanted to designate areas for plowed snow and benches to be spaced and constructed with plowing in mind.



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