Centennial Park plan moves forward

The planning process for the rejuvenation of Centennial Park in downtown Wellington is off to an auspicious start. While the project is a long-term undertaking and may take as long as 20 years to reach completion, the end product will be worth the wait.

Two design concepts created by architecture students at the University of Colorado, Denver and funded jointly by Wellington Main Street Program and Colorado Department of Local Affairs for a total of $5,000, have been accepted by the Parks Advisory Board. One concept addresses changes in the next five to ten years and the other projects improvements that could take as long as 20 years to complete.

Following input gained during a public meeting on June 30, a May 2015 draft plan was adjusted in the final concept to retain the existing Pizza Parlor and Ice Cream Shop at its present location. It had been removed from an earlier plan. “The public pointed out the desirability of having food service at the park and it has been included in both the short and long-term plans,” Wendy DuBord, executive director of Main Street said.

She went on to explain that no one has any intention of obtaining any property through eminent domain in the course of improving the park. The park may never have a larger footprint than what it has today,” she said. None of the buildings currently in the area are at risk for condemnation. She said there’s still the possibility of purchasing some properties in the future, but only if they become available.

DuBord is hopeful that Main Street will be able to obtain grants to complete some phases of the plan in the next five years. She explained that a major reason for having the conceptual plans created was to have something concrete to show entities who might be interested in providing funds to begin implementing improvements.

The first phases of the plan likely to be addressed include a sign for Wellington and Centennial Park, a stage area for pubic concerts and other events, a community Christmas tree, memorial pavers, new benches and natural/organic play areas. DuBord stressed the fact that no major changes can occur until the Boys and Girls Club relocates to a new and larger home on the Thimmig property, possibility three to five years from now.

“We’re taking this project in bite size pieces,” DuBord said. “The Park Advisory Board is holding onto the two plans along with their other park planning documents until the time is right and the funds are available for development.”

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