By Phoebe Muthart
SYRACUSE — A new dog park is being proposed for Syracuse and work is underway at the new Schrock Field location. The Syracuse-Wawasee Park Foundation board members discussed these two main topics at its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 24.
The dog park was proposed at the meeting. Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce recently did a community survey. One of the things mentioned was a need for a dog park in Syracuse.
“In December 2019, we got a $10,000 grant to put toward a project like that for Syracuse,” said Chad Jonsson, parks superintendent.
The chamber’s foundation has $500 to put toward the project. The dog park would include a small dog and a large dog area with play apparatus and a drinking fountain.
The dog park would be locked and only accessible to members who would pay fees. The site being proposed is at Main and Dolan streets. While Jonsson said he’s not sure of the cost, it could be about $2,000.
Another proposed site is the St. Andrew’s Methodist Church field.
“Well, that’s exciting,” said Dr. Tom Edington of the new dog park.
In other news, Jonsson said $400,000 in donations have come to relocate the new Schrock Field. Beer and Slabaugh have begun work on the new ball field on Kern Road. A temporary driveway is being put in using gravel.
“Progress is being made,” he said. “A lot of dirt is being moved.”
Donations will help cover backstop netting and a playground. He showed photos of the proposed playground and what it could potentially look like. Plans include a slide and a baseball-shape climbing apparatus made with netting.
The backstop project is a new way of doing netting, he noted, rather than a chain-link fence. “It’s a new way of doing back stops, he said.
“These were not part of the original bid, but we’ve got money toward some of these projects,” he said.
Jonsson met with some companies to review proposals. He obtained five proposals for the playground but narrowed it down to a “couple designs.”
Originally, the cost was $100,000, however, it could be between $109,000 and $110,000 with the playground and netting.
He said he’d like to move forward and order the playground equipment, which will likely be installed in the spring. Board members agreed.
“We are locking in the price, so there will be no increase,” he said.
Jonsson added, “We just got the irrigation proposal today for the new ball field.”
Edington presented the park foundation’s financial report. “We had donations to fill in the gaps for the ball field,” he said, adding, “I can hear things moving from my house. I can hear the equipment.”
Donations have totalled $404,950 from Jan. 1 to Tuesday, Aug. 24.
An update on the trail project was discussed. A trail committee feasibility study is currently underway with USI. Basically, USI has until the end of September to finish the study regarding the expansion of the trail system.
The major fundraiser for the trails, Tour des Lakes, had around 400 riders July 17. Another fundraiser was July 29. “Both were successful,” said Edington.