Construction is almost complete on the City of Lawrenceburg's new $6 million park.
Photos by Mike Perleberg, Eagle Country 99.3.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - The finishing touches are being put on the City of Lawrenceburg’s new Civic Park.
Mayor Kelly Mollaun gave Eagle Country 99.3 a sneak preview of the park Wednesday.
“What we did down here was develop a green space, a gathering place for downtown. But not just for downtown. It is for the entire community,” Mollaun says.
The park at the intersection of Short and High streets brags a natural grass lawn, ample built-in seating, and a splash pad for kids. Temporary barriers can be installed on the section of High Street which divides the north and south ends of the park. There are also public restrooms.
A covered, permanent stage is the centerpiece. It is equipped with a quality lighting and sound system. A movie screen and projector will be able to show movies on the screen. Bands or acts performing on the stage will have access to a green room just off the stage.
The roof covering the stage is largely made from old whiskey barrels, harkening to the city’s whiskey-making heritage. Metal pillars supporting the roof have a visual appeal similar to the Lawrenceburg Bicentennial Clock Tower on the river levee.
Speakers mounted on light poles will pipe in music to the park during daytime hours every day. Security cameras are also stationed throughout the park.
The budget for park construction is $6 million. The Republican mayor says much of the money came from repaid loans the city collected since he first took office in 2016. “It was money that we didn’t even really have.”
Lawrenceburg City Council later decided to put the repaid city loan program money toward an apartment building project several blocks away on East High Street. The money to pay for the park has since been bonded, or borrowed, by the city, according to Mollaun.
Mollaun has a vision of turning the Civic Park and surrounding properties into an entertainment venue. The Lawrenceburg Redevelopment Commission owns the old carpenters union building, the Strong’s Sugar Shack building, an empty lot, two rowhouses, and the old Lawrenceburg fire house surrounding the park. The redevelopment commission is currently working with prospective restaurant and retail business operators.
“We’re hoping the park will be a nice icon to spur that development,” the mayor says.
The Lawrenceburg Civic Park will officially open to the public on Saturday, June 1. A free grand opening grill-out with the Lawrenceburg Fire Department will take place from noon until 4:00 p.m. that day. Lawrenceburg High School Tiger Pizzazz show choir and others will be the first to perform on the stage.
Fans of Lawrenceburg Main Street’s Music on the River free concert series will enjoy the new park on summertime Thursday evenings. The first 2019 Music on the River concert at the Civic Park will be Thursday, June 6 featuring 50’s and 60’s music from The Van Dells. Concerts will continue most Thursday nights through August 29.
Lawrenceburg Main Street’s event previously known as Party in the Street will become Party in the Park. It will be held on June 7, July 5, and August 2.
Movies in the Park will be held on eight nights beginning at dusk.
Exercise in the Park invites citizens to get out and participate in outdoor PoundFit, DanceFit, yoga, or ballroom dancing classes each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., June through August.
A full schedule of Civic Park events can be found at https://www.thinklawrenceburg.com/news/main-street-news/2019-schedule-of-events/.
“When you come down and look at it now compared to when we started, it is like you couldn’t wait for it to be done. Now I can’t wait for things to start happening here,” says Mollaun.
Mollaun added that the new Civic Park is not considered large enough to host Lawrenceburg Fall Fest concerts, something his administration knew when it embarked on the project.
The city has not developed any plans to allow the park to be rented out for private events such as weddings yet, but the mayor says that could change.