STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — The City of Strongsville has released plans for a projected $3 million grant-funded investment to bring sought after amenities to the city’s Town Center that are pedestrian-friendly.
In a Facebook post, Mayor Tom Perciak detailed the plans for the Strongsville Town Center Enhancement and Walkability Initiative, which has a slew of new amenities, including an interactive splash pad, a new pavilion and a new community playground.
The new amenities would be built on what is currently a baseball diamond to the west of the Ehrnfelt Recreation and Senior Center. The existing Castletown playground just to the southeast of the proposed project would remain.
The area, which already hosts tens of thousands of visitors each year, has been an area of focused development and investment in recent years, officials said in city news release. The plans were crafted using survey responses from more than 1,000 residents.
Resident Cameron Anglin frequently brings his two young children to the Castletown playground and he anticipates future visits to the Town Center amenities.
“It would be amazing. That’s something we’re missing here. We’ve gone to the Berea splash pad and it’s small. You have to go all the way out to Olmsted Falls to find anything decent,” Anglin said. “It’s a pain sometimes with little kids. To be able to come here, get to the library, playground and the splash pad, it’s three in one. It’s fantastic. I can’t wait.”
City officials have not announced an anticipated construction date. The projected $3 million project would be funded through grants.
“We’re excited about that. When we heard about it we were really excited to have something fun to do in the summer,” said Carly Sumlin. “It’s very important. Especially the past two years with the pandemic, I think it’s awesome to have these perks for the residents.”
The need and importance of public parks and amenities have taken on new importance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed people outside for safety and sanity’s sake. Park usage across Northeast Ohio has increased dramatically.
“I think it’s vital to not only the city’s health but the sense of community. I come here and I meet people I wouldn’t have met before. My kids meet kids that they wouldn’t have met before. It helps their social upbringing,” Anglin said. “You can really tell the absence of it. Sometimes people take it for granted when they already have it. But when you’re in a place without playgrounds and without parks, you can really feel it. If the community invests in it, you get back 10-fold what you put into it.”
City officials said the new community playground and splash pad would be fully ADA-compliant and the community pavilion would feature a fireplace and enclosed meeting space. Leading into and out of the site would be upgraded walkways, trails as well as enhanced safety measures and signage.