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Donation will aid in overhaul of former pool

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Another big company has signed on to help Greenwood revamp the downtown park where the city’s pool used to be.

Measuring-device maker Endress+Hauser is contributing $25,000 to help transform the former Pool Park into an attraction with a splash pad, a small sledding hill, trails and playground areas. Huntington National Bank also has pledged $25,000, and the city expects a third founding sponsor also will contribute $25,000 to overhaul the five-acre park.

The city has pledged $300,000 in tax dollars to the project but is pursuing corporate gifts in a park for the first time with the hope of opening it sooner, city attorney Krista Taggart said.

The goal is to get the revamped park open by next summer so that children, especially those in the Old Town area, don’t have to go another year without having anywhere to splash around.

Diving in

Greenwood announced that Endress+Hauser would be the second founding sponsor to contribute $25,000 to revamp Pool Park.

First sponsor: Huntingon National Bank contributed $25,000

Plans: To add a splash pad, a small sledding hill, walking trails, shade areas, and fully wheelchair accessible playground equipment for both younger and older children

What major contributors get: To contribute input to the design and prominent name recognition at the new park, such as with a sign or a plaque

“From just a construction standpoint, the earliest we could have a pool built would be 2014,” she said. “But we can have a splash pad built by this summer with a grand opening this summer. We’re fast-tracking it to get it done as quickly as possible while still doing it right and without sacrificing quality.”

Greenwood hopes to raise $100,000 to $150,000 from private donors to add the splash pad and other features.

The major sponsors will be able to contribute input to the design and receive prominent name recognition at the site, though the city hasn’t determined how that would work, spokeswoman Molly Laut said.

Endress+Hauser’s contribution will go toward a new splash pad area, which will spray jets of water that kids can play in, or to playground equipment that’s expected to be fully wheelchair accessible and surrounded by a soft rubber surface. City officials hope that the revamped park, which could include musical features and special panels to stimulate autistic kids, will draw visitors from a wide area.

“The development of the splash park is an important step in the future of Greenwood’s downtown, and Endress+Hauser is proud to be a part of the project,” Brandyn Ferguson, Endress+Hauser’s vice president of human resources, said in a statement.

“We are excited about the opportunity to provide a safe, fun place for the children in our community to play — that is accessible to all. This project fits with Endress+Hauser’s desire to support the infrastructure of the community and also gives us an opportunity to invest in the future of our youth.”

Taggart solicited financial

support from Endress+Hauser, a Swiss company with a corporate campus off Worthsville Road, and other businesses after the city closed the pool last April. Economic development commission member Loren Puck, who’s semiretired from the manufacturer of sensors and high-tech measuring devices, helped get the company to make a large donation to the park.

The city is pursuing the public-private partnership not only to raise funds and save taxpayers money but also to get more community buy-in with a downtown revitalization project, Taggart said.

Greenwood wants the remodeled park, near Lincoln Street and Market Plaza, to start bringing people downtown as soon as late June if the weather allows construction to go quickly.

This spring, workers will build a splash pad, playgrounds for both younger and older children, trails, a shade structure, a parking lot and a new restroom and changing area. The restroom that still stands at the park will be torn down after a consultant determined demolition would be cheaper than renovation.

The city has hired the firm Made Design to design landscaping and finalize the site plan, Taggart said. Designs should be done and revealed by next month.

Contractors should be able to bid on the splash pad project as soon as March, and the hope is that it will open in the summer. Extended trails, the sledding hill and other features at the park would be developed over time, as funding becomes available.

“This project is a great example of the wonderful things that can happen when people come together for a good cause,” Mayor Mark Myers said in a statement.

“We couldn’t ask for a better partner than Endress+Hauser. We look forward to working with them to bring this exciting facility to our residents in 2013.”

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