Quakertown Park Groundbreaking
The Borough of Quakertown broke ground last Friday, October 11, on what will become a park with walking trails, gardens, a fountain, and an amphitheater for music & cultural events. MKSD’s design for the amphitheater is below, along with some hi-lights from the article posted in the Morning Call.
October 11, 2013|By Melinda Rizzo, Special to The Morning Call
” As rain fell Friday afternoon, Quakertown Borough officials slid golden shovels into the mud, turning over a new leaf at a former brownfield site.
“We’re standing on the new site of a park, and it’s an exciting adventure for the borough,” said Scott McElree, borough manger and police chief.
“This property is the last piece of the park puzzle,” Quakertown Council President Jim Roberts said.
Site work at the property at Fourth and Mill streets is expected to begin this month.
Plans calls for two miles of walking trails, gardens, a pond and fountain and a permanent amphitheater for music, arts and cultural events.
“This is our community and the bandstand and amphitheater will be the focal point of this park,” said Dave Freeman, president of QNB.
The project is expected to cost about $2 million and will be done in two phases, according to Anjelika B. Forndran, project engineer with Cowen Associates, Inc. of Quakertown.
Forndran said about 2,500 feet of the walking trail would be installed as part of phase I, and that the ornamental pond would double as a retention basin on the site.
The 12-acre property, which includes 7 acres in Richland Township, has been vacant for decades, but what to do with the site has been 25 years in the making.
The borough bought the contaminated site in 1988, which was on a Superfund list, and helped cover the $3 million it cost to clean it up.
“Those were agonizing years (during the) clean-up,” Roberts said.
Quakertown donated several of the original 18-acres to the county for the construction of the James A. Michener Branch of the Bucks County Library.
In 2007 a committee was formed to recommend uses at the property.
In July, borough Council faced sticker shock and financial obstacles as bids for the project came in nearly double the budget. Council decided to cut costs by using borough staff for as much work as possible, and farming out the rest.
The borough will receive $332,000 from Bucks County’s open space funds, which is part of a matching grant program.
“There is a lot of fundraising going on now,” Forndran said.
It also has $80,000 from fund-raising efforts in 2005 from the borough’s sesquicentennial celebration.
Other revenue sources are being sought as well, as well as private, business and corporate sponsorship, and naming rights may also be purchased for various parts of the site including naming the park, amphitheater, snack bar and restroom area, McElree said. ”