The Syracuse Park Foundation received positive updates regarding the Syracuse Youth Athletic Complex and the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail System during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.
Chad Jonsson, park superintendent and executive director of the foundation, provided a brief slide show highlighting the progress at the athletic complex over the past year.
In the last month, the concession stand and maintenance buildings have gone up, the grass has greened up due to recent rains, fence posts and backstops have been installed. The fence will be installed either later this fall or in early spring.
Final grading of the infields will be completed later this fall as well.
While work is moving quickly, it is unclear whether Wawasee Football will be able to play a game on it. Due to the drought, the grass is slow in coming in.
Jonsson said the area has been recently mowed and it looks better than anticipated. There is still grass seed on the fields that will germinate when conditions improve.
Jonsson is working with local contractors on the project. NIPSCO has installed a transformer post for three phase power and the sprinklers have been ordered for the irrigation system.
Dr. Tom Edington, board chair, asked about naming opportunities in the park system. Jonsson explained things have been named after people in the community pointing out the rose garden in front of the community center and rooms within the community center.
The youth athletic complex committee is considering naming opportunities.
Spike Ford, chairman of the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee provided an update on the trail system.
He reported there is a mini-groundswell of people who are interested in making the Eli Lilly Trail a bit wider. People have also expressed an interest in acquiring easements and meandering the trail, making it more scenic.
Ford also did some rough figuring of what a potential 3-mile loop of trail would cost and came up with a $750,000 figure, which would be two-thirds of what it would cost to put in a mile of trail along SR 13.
The committee is working on getting some sections installed on Northshore and Eastshore Drives since there have been contributions made specifically for that area.