NORWALK, Conn. — The plan for Ryan Park has been refined and is nearly finalized.
“We really wanted to bring something in here that you just don’t see in another park around here, we wanted to really bring something dynamic and challenging,” Jeff Olszewski of Stantec said Thursday, describing a multi-age playground that features ropes, slides and climbing walls.
Work on the new Ryan Park will begin after remediation efforts are complete, which is expected to be November, he said. It’s expected to open in late 2018.
There will be a splash pad for the kids and musical elements, including pagoda bells and a manta ray xylophone, known to appeals to all age.
The basketball court will be regulation size and will be bordered by a plaza with granite block seating, Olszewski said. Fitness stations will feature all-weather rowing machines and other year-round equipment.
A woman in the audience said she liked the sound of that.
She lives in Norwalk but goes to Stamford’s Scalzi Park to exercise because she loves the fitness station, she said.
Olszewski said Stantec designed Scalzi Park.
In response to a public demand for bathrooms, a housing structure will be built to shelter two Port-A-Potties, he said.
The park will feature a 1/10th mile walking loop, with a 1/3-acre yard in the middle, which could be used for community gatherings, he said. A pavilion is planned.
The park will also have Wi-Fi and electricity, he said.
In response to concerns about safety, the park is planned to have minimal landscaping, with grass and high canopy tress, to allow for visibility from all angles, he said.
The parking lot is designed to allow a vehicle to loop in and out easily, meaning that police can easily drive through to take a peak, he said. There will be no gate. Questions focused on the safety angle, with Rick Reardon asking if Norwalk Police had considered cameras in the park.
Police said monitoring cameras is difficult, and suggested the open design of the park to increase visibility, Olszewski said.
Emergency vehicles will be able to drive onto the field, he said, responding to Reardon.
“People who have bad ideas or bad intent do not like loop paths because people can come from all different directions,” Gary Sorge of Stantec said. “Right now, there is no circulation in the southern part of the park. Which means, when you are there, you feel shielded and protected from a positive element.”
Norwalk Housing Authority Choice Neighborhoods Director Tom Ivers said that when all the construction is done, there will be 800 people living in close proximity to the park, as opposed to the 300 who are there now.
That includes the new Washington Village under construction and a private development by Spinnaker Partners, Maritime Village, which is also going up.
It’s going up fast, in fact – people will move in to the three-building complex at 17 and 19 Day Street in July, he said.
“They have modular sections going in to place as we speak,” Ivers said.
The 13 Day St. portion of the new Washington Village will begin occupancy soon after New Year, with 20 Day St. occupied the following March, he said. Phase II will be done 1.5 years later in the summer to fall of 2019, and Phase III coming along another 1.5 years after that.