Notice the fences coming down at the Civic Center? Their removal is just the first phase of many improvements that will be enacted as part of the Civic Center’s master plan, says Jason Jones, director of parks and recreation for Grand Traverse County. The master plan, developed in 2011 following a series of public brainstorming sessions, essentially calls for “a more inviting” aesthetic for the Civic Center. To that end, all of the fencing along the southern boundary of the property and most of the northern boundary is being removed this week. Because of proximity to residential areas and passing traffic, the fencing along the western edge of the property will remain, but on the eastern side, the existing six-foot fence will be replaced by a four-foot fence.
Jones tells The Ticker that all of the old fencing that’s in good condition is being coiled and bundled in 100-foot sections so it can be reused in other places in the park – such as the facilities management parking area – and other county facilities as needed. “Only the portions in bad shape are being thrown out,” he says. “Our department, frankly, should be the most environmentally friendly department in the county, so we’re trying to do that by re-utilizing [old but suitable materials] in other areas.”
Hopefully, the savings – and other sources of funding – will enable the Civic Center to tick off the next items on its master plan wish list: landscape improvements and a scrolling digital sign heralding Civic Center events in 2013, and in 2014, pickleball courts and brighter and more energy-efficient field lighting.