Lakewood’s $925,000 renovation of Wagar Park nearing completion

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — The $925,000 renovation of Wagar Park in Lakewood is nearly complete.

“We’re hoping to have an official ribbon cutting in the spring,” Lakewood Public Works Director Roman Ducu said. “Right now, we’re waiting for grass to get established in low-lying areas that are soaked.

“Also, we have punch list items we’re working through with the contractor Marra Construction. They’re about 90 percent completed. We had stamped concrete circles up front that were just really faint. We asked them to redo that and they did a phenomenal job.”

The 1.6-acre area is located on the north side of the intersection of Hilliard Road and Madison Avenue between Rosewood and Orchard Grove avenues.

The project includes a new fenced play area with playground equipment, walking trails, a picnic shelter, a half-court basketball court and a play field.

“Wagar Park is an example of how a first-ring suburb like Lakewood should plan and execute a park revitalization,” Lakewood Mayor Meghan George said. “We’ve traded unused tennis courts that had fallen into disrepair for new green space, a multipurpose court and seating throughout the park.

“That reprogramming is sure to draw more activity and restore this space to its rightful place as a community anchor and gathering place in this corner of Lakewood.”

The mayor noted the Wagar Park revitalization project also features a permanent street mural on the now closed Rosewood Avenue. Local artist Ryan Jaenke will complete the work next year.

“We further expanded Wagar Park’s footprint,” George said. “We’ve been talking about this revitalization project a great deal because we’re proud of the result and because Lakewoodites take their parks seriously.

“In a community where we live so closely together, the city parks become our backyard. I know I’m not alone when I say I’m looking forward to the ribbon-cutting in spring 2021.”

As a licensed drone pilot, Ducu recently shared on social media the scope of the project.

“We don’t have a park opening date,” Docu said. “I’d be surprised if it wasn’t done by Jan. 1, but it is weather contingent.”

The Wagar Park renovation, which originally was estimated at $950,000, finds Lakewood using a $381,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to help pay for the project.

“It’s fair to say that the renovated Wagar Park does set a new bar for the city of Lakewood,” Docu said. “We’ve done a lot of new innovative things with this park. We’ve definitely stepped our game up. This park is unique to the neighborhood. You couldn’t put this same park at Madison Park, which is unique to that neighborhood.

“We have our five-year comprehensive capital improvement plan to continuously improve the parks. Some need basketball court upgrades and tennis court upgrades. So it’s a case-by-case scenario as we look to renovate our parks.”

Read more news from the Sun Post Herald here.

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