September 1, 2016 - Today, Mayor Tom Henry and Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll, along with neighborhood advocates and community leaders, led a grand opening ceremony for the first phase of Franklin School Park, located at 1903 St. Marys Ave.
“We continue to see positive momentum and investment in the City of Fort Wayne,” said Mayor Henry. “I’m encouraged by the enhancements being made in our parks and neighborhoods. The new Franklin School Park is a tremendous asset for our community to enjoy. We’re meeting the needs of residents and providing quality of life amenities that make Fort Wayne great.”
Phase 1 features the maintained and restored arches from Franklin School, still in their original locations. The arches were inspiration for the overall theme of the new park. A much anticipated one-of-a-kind splash pad is now open from 9 am – 9 pm. This phase also included bench seating, sidewalks and restrooms installed in the partially remodeled school garage. Solar voltaic panels mounted on the roof of the pavilion will help reduce the cost of electricity. Trees will be planted this fall throughout the park to provide shade.
Fundraising is underway for the second phase of development. When the shared vision of the neighborhood, the Parks & Recreation Department and the City of Fort Wayne is complete, the former school garage will be converted into a rentable, year-round pavilion available to the neighborhood and other groups. The architecture of the pavilion has also been designed to complement the entry arches. The pavilion will have transparent garage doors which can be thrown open on warm days, expanding the space outside onto a large event plaza. The plaza will be able to accommodate a variety of events, including farmers’ markets, neighborhood fairs and concerts, but also include seating areas and more intimate spaces with lush plantings. A small parking lot will be installed to serve the pavilion. A network of walkways will be in place for patrons to stroll, and to connect the park with the neighborhood to the north, south, east, and west.
Earthsource, Inc. is the landscape architecture firm responsible for the park site construction and bidding documents. Elevatus Architects designed the restroom remodel. Schenkel Construction is the general contractor for the park and restroom construction. The Parks & Recreation Department partnered with Design Collaborative and Engineering Resources to design the arches. Hamilton Hunter Builders was the general contractor for the arch restoration.