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Wellington mayor unveils plans for park on former McCormick Middle School site

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WELLINGTON — Mayor Hans Schneider unveiled Thursday night a drawing of the park layout the village will officially dedicate next year where the old McCormick Middle School used to sit.

Schneider was a guest speaker at the village’s candidate night for the Nov. 7 general election at the village’s Town Hall.

The property was acquired when the Wellington school board sold it for $10, according to Schneider. The district also removed the stipulation that the park on the property had to be called McCormick Park.

The village held a couple public meetings last year for ideas on what the park should look like. One of the bigger decisions made was to have the park be more of a passive type rather than active, Schneider said.

Next, a committee was formed to help design the park, along with the help of Eric Brubeck, a landscape architecture and garden designer in Cleveland.

“We took those ideas that were generated from those public meetings, and we started to formulate ideas around the table — what we liked and what we didn’t like,” Schneider said. “(Eric) met with us and took those ideas and came back with some drawings.”

Brubeck brought back a set of drawings to the committee and together they further refined the park’s design.

Schneider pointed out some of the key features of the proposed design, which will sit on the block surrounded by South Main, Dickson, Courtland and Carpenter streets.

“On South Main Street (state Route 58), we wanted to have some curb appeal, so there’s a main entrance there that is noticeable when driving by with wrought-iron gates,” Schneider said.

Along Dickson Street the plan shows a fenced-in playground. Near the back of the park along Courtland Street the committee is debating whether to put in an amphitheater or bandstand, the latter of which the committee is leaning toward, according to Schneider.

The drawing Schneider showed the audience had a pavilion just east of the main entrance, but he said the committee has decided to remove the pavilion since it changes the dynamic of the park being a passive one. Instead, they’re considering putting a community Christmas tree there.

Additionally, the drawing showed a fountain in the middle of the proposed park.

The plan also showed several concrete walkways that lead to the fountain in the center of the park. Additionally, there’s a jogging path that runs along the perimeter.

“It’s not all going to be done next year,” Schneider said. “It’s going to be a phased-in project, but we have some good ideas. Once it’s done, this community is going to be proud of the work this committee has put forth.”

The park is scheduled to open next summer as part of the village’s bicentennial celebration. Since the school district has removed the stipulation of the name of the park, the village is planning to have some fun in that area.

“One of the things we’re going to do is have a contest where you can submit different names, and we’ll facilitate those on Facebook,” Schneider said. “We’ll make that announcement (of the park’s name) next June when we dedicate the park.”

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.



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