By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor
Grove City leaders envision a park at the Beulah Park redevelopment site that would be a go-to destination.
“There is an expectation that a park will be there,” said Grove City councilman Randy Holt. “It’s time to move forward and make a difference.”
Council did move forward. At the March 15 meeting, council voted to adopt the Park at Beulah master plan.
In 2019, the city contracted with MKSK, an architectural firm, to develop a master plan for the park space at Beulah Park. The company conducted an online survey and held a public meeting to gather community input. The result was a large destination park that would feature an amphitheater, native gardens, walking trails and exercise stations, a playground, overlooks and a sledding hill.
This proposal was presented to council and the city’s administration in 2019 but no formal action was taken.
Council decided it was time to take that formal action to move forward with the planning and development of the area.
“A master plan is a long-term planning process,” said council president Christine Houk. “We have to be open to potential changes as development progresses.”
Per the development agreement between the city of Grove City and Pat Kelley with Falco, Smith and Kelley, the developer would deed approximately 30 acres of land for the city to use as park space.
Earlier this year, the city set aside $1 million for the park and obtained a grant from the state of Ohio for $200,000 for the amphitheater.
According to Chuck Boso, city administrator, MKSK estimated the cost of the park at Beulah at approximately $10 million. However, that estimate did not include the cost for an amphitheater, which he said would add on another $3 million. Boso also said it would cost just over $1 million for site grading and soil.
There were questions about whether an amphitheater was necessary for the location.
Councilman Roby Schottke said this is the “proper” location for such an amenity. He said it is a stage where the Grove City Winds could perform or even actors from Little Theatre Off Broadway.
Sam Clark, the Grove City Park Board president, said he fully supports the park plan.
“It is a perfect centerpiece to the development,” he said.
Only one council member voted against adopting the park master plan – Aaron Schlabach. He said he feels the plan is being rushed.
“I would rather have a larger discussion on the matter.”