Old High School property//// Make it a park

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Old High School property//// Make it a park

Postby TAK » Sat Jul 02, 2005 11:55 pm

Get rid of those ugly yellow school busses and what an awesome view of a grand building. Talk about a place to have a Corn Roast!!!!
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Postby 141 » Wed Jul 13, 2005 5:54 pm




You make a good point. The downtown has many features that have set the foundation, and better linking needs to be made between them - without tearing things down. Once you tear it down - it's gone. If we tear everything down, what is left to go to?

I think the entire site should be treated as a park - and we should play on the history of it. What a location for a downtown park. Imagine gardens, benches, a place for people to relax, eat their lunch, fountains or an ice rink - a real gathering place that will also alleviate the pressure put on the courthouse lawn during festivals. It's still downtown. Other communities have large central parks - why don't we? What a compliment to the downtown it could be - and it doesn't have to be a gimic or a phony Disneyland.

As far as a legacy, you are right. Why don't we focus on something spectacular for the 175th birthday in 4 years. This isn't something that has to be finished tommorrow, but can be phased along.

Do you live in Crown Point still?
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Postby -={ARCLIGHT}=- » Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:01 pm

I also cannot stand looking at those busses.

I also wish it could be a park, but that boat sailed long ago.

The Mayor desperately wanted that land to build a massive new city government center.

The school board wanted to sell the city the land.

But the city did not want to pay the full fair asking price.

So after getting dicked around long enough, the school board said enough is enough, and decided the new middle school will go there.

So instead of a nice park we are getting a lot of young pedestrians at a busy intersection.

I'd link you to where you could read the entire saga, but the admin of this board has asked me not to link to outside sources.
Last edited by -={ARCLIGHT}=- on Wed Jul 20, 2005 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby WallyWorld Girl » Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:15 pm

Every local town has it's center of attention park...Highland, Lowell, Merrillville. We have the fairgrounds. Out of the thick of Crown Point and largely smells of farm animals. Nice.
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The Fairgrounds is not Crown Point's - It is the county's

Postby 141 » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:18 pm

Well, I guees the fairgrounds are now in the city limits, but it is not a CITY park. It has limited access for local residents and LOCAL events.
Good point that those other communities do have their OWN parks, and not a county property with a pitiful chain link fence surrounding it. It looks cheap - and it didn't used to.

The fairgrounds for years has been overrun, and overburdened. People park all over the place and the paving is embarassing.

The topic of quality of life has come up lately, and what do we do? We discuss tearing something down or widening this road to have a bigger and better __________ (fill in the blank). Well, bigger is NOT always better. If we put up a 20 story office or condo building downtown, do you think that would look good? Maybe to a developer ($$), but most people would understand that it overshadows everything else, looks out of place - and, more importantly, is out of SCALE. We can't be thinking that we have to have ONE big one of everything - and that will cover it. This town is too spread out for everyone to come downtown for everything. (Library, police, fire, etc.) Who's quality of life are we improving? Ours or the people who don't live here (yet)? More roads, means more traffic, means more taxes, means more construction headaches.

As far as the downtown park idea going away, I'll politely disagree with you on that, Arc Light. If you think it is a good idea, then tell people. The park that is there (Jerry Ross / North Street), needs help. It is about as appealing as the fairgrounds. It could and should be expanded, though. An attractive entryway to the downtown on the other side of the street (Bus depot area) could be a massive enhancement - without tearing anything significant strucutres down, and be an attractive incentive for visitors / downtown strollers, etc.

I think the school board would still be willing to sell the land, or work some compromise so that their intentions are not disrupted. But people need to tell the school system, and the city what they want to see, have, or be represented by. (Hopefully a parking lot and extensive traffic backups are not among our wishes)
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Postby -={ARCLIGHT}=- » Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:18 pm

Plan in hand, C.P. ready for action

New development could help put city's master plan to use

During last week's Plan Commission meeting, without much fanfare, the city officially approved its newly updated comprehensive plan. The document is supposed to guide development in Crown Point for the foreseeable future, on everything from its transportation to zoning plans.

While more than a year's worth of sometimes heated debate about the $90,000 plan is over, now may come the harder part - making sure it doesn't just sit on the shelf, collecting dust.

City officials say that's not likely to happen, particularly due to a case of good timing. With development suddenly picking up around Interstate 65 and U.S. 231, the plan is destined to be a hot commodity.

"Right now in the city, we're so busy," said Planning and Building Director Curt Graves. "The land game is on. Developers will want this (plan)."

In the past two weeks, there's been a lot of activity concerning parcels of land south of where Interstate 65 and U.S. 231 intersect, Graves said. Developer Doug Vandernoord has plans for the southwestern quadrant and Lauth Property Group held a workshop before the city's Plan Commission on Tuesday, proposing use of the southeastern quadrant for a series of retail buildings with shared parking. Talk has also begun about the 456 acres the city annexed earlier this year, south of and adjacent to 129th Avenue. Plans could go before the commission in the next two months, Graves said.

"The timing was great in this respect," Graves said.

While the property Lauth is eyeing is currently zoned industrial, the master plan shows it as a commercial property. Without that forethought, Graves said city officials might have spent a lot of time and energy debating a zoning change. Now it's likely the move will be approved.

The city's Redevelopment Commission also started talking last week about creating design standards for the highway interchange, to make sure the look of the new development is what the city wants. The ideas will eventually go before the Plan Commission. Mayor Dan Klein said the standards are something he thinks could be beneficial for all future development in the city.

Another way to keep the plan's ideas alive rests in Klein's and the City Council's hands - a capital improvement plan.

Klein said Friday the city has a preliminary plan in the works, based on meetings with the department heads and financial consultant Greg Guerrettaz. The next step will be to include the City Council and Redevelopment Commission's thoughts. He could see the plan moving into action within the next year.

An example of what's in the plan is changing the use of Parry Court, the narrow downtown street that runs between Circle Restaurant and Bar and Twelve Islands. The master plan suggests closing it to traffic permanently. Klein said he also wants to address the city's downtown parking problems and use suggestions from Schneider Corp. to update some of the city's ordinances.

In recent weeks, Klein said he's also talked about the need to get the city's wastewater system ready for its fast growing population. The Board of Public Works and Safety will look at doing another comprehensive evaluation of the system at its next meeting.

"We can't wait," Klein said.

City Councilman Mike Conquest, R-at large, said he'd like the council to take a leadership role in helping reroute U.S. 231 through the downtown, while City Council member Andrew Kyres, D-3rd, wants the city to follow a timeline for the completion of the bike trail. If it can't meet deadline, city officials need to examine the obstacles in the way, he said.

He'd also like the city do follow-up analysis of the master plan, reviewing it every three to six months to keep its implementation a priority.

"One of the critical components of any plan is the execution and follow up," he said. "Otherwise, the money was not very well spent."
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Postby -={ARCLIGHT}=- » Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:26 pm

[url=http://nwitimes.com/articles/2005/07/19/news/lake_county/1239b93f8f6724d3862570430015b0cc.txt]New middle school to feature clock tower

CROWN POINT: Feature to help visitors locate main entrance

This story ran on nwitimes.com on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 12:16 AM CDT

CROWN POINT | Developers are putting the finishing touches on architectural plans for the new downtown middle school.

Representatives from Fanning/Howey Associates Inc. presented an updated draft to the Crown Point School Board on Monday night that includes a somewhat new look to the middle school's main entrance.

The new addition -- a two-story clock tower -- will help designate the side of the building off U.S. 231 as the school's main entrance.

"We're very excited about having a feature like that," said Mike Schipp, project manager for Fanning/Howey.

The four-sided brick structure will sit at an angle so that two clock faces can be seen from both the entrance off Harrington Street and U.S. 231.

During school hours, Harrington will serve as a general entrance to the public, and U.S. 231 will be used for receiving. The entrance off Walnut Street will be a drop-off site for buses.

Board member Dan Root said that even with the new addition he wanted to make sure that the average person, especially those coming from outside Crown Point, will be able to find the middle school and identify its main entrance.

"There's no question they're going to see the entrance," Schipp said.

Measures also were taken in the architectural plans to minimize the school's other entrances, including adding a gate at the receiving area entrance. The gate will be easily opened and closed to ensure that traffic is flowed correctly through the parking lot.

"We've done everything I think we can to minimize the impact of the receiving area," Schipp said.

Also unveiled at the meeting were plans for the new middle school's auditeria/dining area.

"We know this is an important feature," Schipp said of the stage area, which will feature several art deco features of the old high school.

The idea, he said, is to add depth and uniqueness to the area similar to the detailing of the original high school entrance. This includes using header detailing and decorative light fixtures.

Construction of the first phase is expected to begin in the next month, with the school expected to open in August 2006.

Also expected to be complete by the new school's opening are renovations to Robert Taft Middle School.

Schipp briefed the board about architectural plans for renovations at Taft. Both middle school designs show school buildings for sixth- through eighth-graders organized by grade levels and common areas for students.

Schipp said the company is working on traffic flow patterns and plans for an entrance canopy. He said the middle school project will be challenging and creativity is necessary in order to save money.

"We are doing everything we can to be as creative as possible," he said.

Drawings of the renovations are scheduled to be completed by late fall. After that, bidding for the projects can begin, Schipp said.

141 wrote:As far as the downtown park idea going away, I'll politely disagree with you on that, Arc Light.

Arclight (All One Word) wrote:It's over, the school is being built there, as I originally stated.
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Postby -={ARCLIGHT}=- » Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:41 pm

If you are unaware of what is being planned for the downtown square and old HS site check the Lakota Plan PDF's.
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