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Akron's Lock 3 vision plan to include new pavilion, ice skating rinks, trails and shaded seating

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Posted at 10:46 AM, Mar 01, 2022

AKRON, Ohio — Additional details of Akron’s Lock 3 Vision Plan were announced Tuesday, including the contribution of additional funding to pay for the $10 million project that will expand the public offerings of Lock 3.

Akron's $3.5 million contribution is in addition to the previous contribution of $1.5 million and brings the total City of Akron commitment to $5 million. Knight Foundation also announced it would give a $3.5 million grant award that is in addition to the previously announced contribution of $2 million and brings the total Knight commitment to $5.5 million.

“Locks 2, 3 and 4 are Akron’s Central Park and have been a priority for Reimaging the Civic Commons in Akron since 2017,” said Kyle Kutuchief, Knight Foundation Program Director in Akron. “We at Knight believe the transformation of Lock 3 Park will strengthen it as a special event venue and an everyday park to connect people of all backgrounds, cultivate trust and create a more resilient and engaged Akron.”

The resident-led Lock 3 Vision Plan is intended on building on the success of the current downtown space and developing a “365-day” park that is a destination for residents, guests, hikers and bicyclists along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

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Lock 3 Vision Plan rendering.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said the plan is an important part of making Downtown Akron more accessible and equitable for all residents and visitors.

“This public space investment represents a priority for my administration and the city regarding the importance of equity and community in our parks, trails and open spaces. All residents, regardless of their income, race, education or experience, deserve outstanding parks and open space for recreation and relaxation,” said Horrigan.

The Lock 3 plan includes shaded seating, landscaped gardens, artwork, skating areas and a performance pavilion.

The design of the $10 million project is being led by an international award-winning firm from Memphis.

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Lock 3 Vision Plan rendering.

The stage will be designed as a permanent structure as compared to the more seasonal stage and tent that occupies Lock 3.

Horrigan said the stage will be a work of art, with the pillars in front of the stage mimicking trees. The main stage space will have hard seats. Near the pavilion, there will be another area that will accommodate more medium-sized events.

Behind the pavilion and stage, there will be another space that will cater to running events and races along the Towpath.

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The Lock 3 Vision Plan.

The plan also includes two ice skating rinks, one for skaters and the other for bumper cars.

Construction on the park will begin at the end of the 2022 concert season, which typically ends in October.

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