JACKSON TWP. There are multiple construction projects going on in the township right now including the near completion of the ComDoc building on Pittsburg Avenue, the Schroer Group building in Keck Park on Wales Avenue, the construction of the new Jackson Township Branch Library and the new amphitheater in North Park.
In addition to all of that, the Strip Avenue extension is getting ready to open in early July. There is lots of planning going on for the new park on the Tam O’Shanter property and the trustees are working on plans for the construction of a tunnel between North and South Park.
“This board has gotten more done than any other I’ve seen in my time with the township," said Fiscal Officer and Economic Development Director Randy Gonzalez. “These multi-million-dollar projects wrapping up over the next two years are really major projects that will change our community for the better. All of the grant money and economic development money the township has received has allowed these projects to go forward.”
Following are updates to several of the projects in the works.
North Park Construction
Jackson Township residents may be wondering what all the construction is about in the North Park. There are two major projects happening very close to each other. The first project that sits closer to Fulton Road is the building of the new Jackson Township Branch Library. The second project is the Jackson Township amphitheater park.
The amphitheater will be built just behind the library. Plans call for an area between the library building and the amphitheater to be used for lawn seating for the amphitheater. Akron-based Cavanaugh Building Corporation was awarded the project in the spring with a bid of $2.58 million. Work has been ongoing at the site for the past few months.
The library should be open next year, and the amphitheater should be ready to use in the spring of 2020 as long as the weather doesn’t delay construction any further.
“The construction has already begun, and we are monitoring progress considering the large amounts of rain we’ve had recently,” wrote trustee Todd Hawke. “It will depend on the weather, but we are hoping to use the amphitheater next spring. Exact timelines depend on the weather and the ability to get the grass grown.”
Hawk added that visitors to the park can expect to see the build out of the structure itself and continued site work around the structure in the upcoming weeks. He also added the trustees are planning events and programming now “while continuing to use the area and showcase all of the North Park property.”
Some changes have been to some of the regular events held each year in North Park. The amphitheater is in the area where the Farmer’s Market is held every year. Just for this year, the Farmer’s Market has been moved closer to the sand volleyball courts.
“There will be some changes affecting the Community Celebration parking because of the construction plus the new safety curbing the high school put in this year will change some of the parking patterns,” Hawke wrote.
Tam O’Shanter Park Planning
When the owners of the Tam O’Shanter Golf Course decided to sell part of the property to a commercial developer, they also donated and sold some property to Stark Parks and they donated 20 acres to the township to use as a park.
Gonzalez said the township purchased 20 more acres. He said there are a lot of options being considered but nothing has been determined including a name for the park.
Hawke wrote that the new park in Tam O’Shanter is in the planning stage at present and that the trustees are working with the commercial developer on that property to move the intersection projects in that area forward. The property was divided into 40 acres for a Jackson Township park, 225 acres for a Stark Parks park and 62 acres for commercial.
A Meijers retail store is planned for the 62 acres property facing Fulton Drive at the intersection where Fulton and Everhard Road NW connects.
“We are looking at using the same design firm (Environmental Design Group) that Stark Parks has been using for their park on that property,” Gonzalez said. “We are talking with other partners in the area to help us determine the design. We’re looking at possibly sharing parking with Stark Parks and walking trails from their park to our park. And, we’re working with the commercial developer to make it one big campus.”
Gonzalez said the trustees are also working to get the commercial developer to get the intersection improvements done and said the trustees are “adamant on getting them done because they promised the community those intersections would be improved.”
Other Project Updates
There are several other projects going on in the township and are either in the works or near completion.
“We are finalizing the extension of Strip Ave now and hope to have it open around the first week of July," Hawke wrote. "Comdoc's new facility is nearing completion. The Shroer Group's building at Keck Park is moving along and we are continuing the process to develop the roadway and infrastructure at that location. And, we are working with the commercial developers at the Tam O'Shanter location to move the intersection projects forward around that area.”