Sauerman Woods Park in Crown Point is undergoing an upgrade and revitalization process that will completely transform the area. The area around the park is known to have significant flooding, and phase one of the project is to create a retention pond to alleviate those flooding issues along State Road 231 and in the yards of community members.
“The largest component of this project will be digging out and creating a lake at that location that will be about 14 to 18 feet deep,” Crown Point Mayor Pete Land said. “That will help with all the flooding, and all the stormwater runoff will be funneled into that lake. The primary purpose of the project is stormwater management. This project, once completed, will alleviate all issues with flooding in that entire area.”
Phase One of the revitalization process is being funded by a $2.6 million grant from the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission. This organization works to divert and control the flow of water throughout municipalities.
“Right up with one of their mission statements, we want to take so much stormwater and put it in one location, which is this large lake, and that's why we're digging as deep as we’re digging,” Land said. “We're going to draw so much stormwater that would normally be filtered as runoff and into different basins. We're going to control it, we're going to collect it and store it in our lake.”
The project came in at $2.3 million. After discussions with the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission, it was decided that the remaining $300,000 will be applied to the second phase of the stormwater management program.
This large retention pond will have boardwalks going over the water, a fishing pier, fountains, and a path with benches going around it. Land explained this is going to be more than a typical municipal retention pond.
The City of Crown Point is working with the Friends of the Veterans Memorial Park to create a space for memorials and monuments within the park. The group had a memorial across the street in a location not many community members were aware of, so they are putting it in an area that is expected to be highly trafficked.
“Surrounding the entire lake will be a nine-foot paved, concrete walkway. At different intervals around the lake, we're going to have poured concrete pads that the veteran's group can then go and put whatever kind of monuments or markings on these pads that they wish to have,” Land said.
The other amenities of the park are going to be upgraded during phase two of the project. Currently, the park is an open grass area with playground equipment, a basketball court, four sand volleyball courts, a gazebo, and the city hub pool that has been closed for a few years.
Land explained the revitalization process will bring new playground equipment, two additional sand volleyball courts, two pickleball courts, and parking. The current gazebo will be replaced by a concrete shelter with restroom facilities closer to the volleyball and pickleball courts. Picnic tables will be placed inside the shelter for community members to gather.
“We're expecting to start construction on Phase Two in October of 2023. Prior to that, Phase One will be complete but won't be in use yet,” Land said. “We expect Phase Two to be fully done by the summer of 2024.”
The park will be open to the public before the final step in this revitalization process is complete. The component that will tie this project together is the installation of a roundabout at the intersection of State Road 231 and 113th Ave.
“We're going to reconfigure that entire intersection and put in a four-leg roundabout right there,” Land said. “The fourth leg will be the primary and main entrance into the park. Because we're working with the state on their timelines and various funding sources, we're looking to start late fall of 2024 or early 2025 depending on the weather. The park will be done and open prior to that.”
For more information regarding the City of Crown Point, visit crownpoint.in.gov.