The City of Crown Point is moving along with work at Sauerman Woods Park.
During a Wednesday evening meeting, Crown Point Mayor Pete Land provided an update on the project, which broke ground last fall.
“This whole project started several years ago. It initially started as a stormwater management project,” Land said. “About a year ago when we came in, we had the stormwater management part ready to go. Since then, we have been primarily focusing on amenities at the park. As I have always said, I want this to be a destination location.”
At its core, the project will address long-standing flooding issues on the southeast side of the city by upgrading stormwater capacity and improving drainage.
In September 2022, the City of Crown Point broke ground on phase one of the project, which includes the demolition of Hub Pool and excavation of a new pond. Work is ongoing and slated to wrap up later this summer, Land said.
New recreational amenities will be installed in phase two of the project, which is slated to break ground later this year. Land said the new amenities include a 10-foot-deep pond featuring a fountain and two piers; open green space; playground equipment for children of all abilities; an open-air pavilion with picnic tables; an illuminated 9-foot walking path around the pond; six pickleball and six sand volleyball courts; and 84 parking spaces.
When work is complete, visitors will be able to fish at the pond and reflect on those who paid the ultimate sacrifice with a tribute by the Friends of the Veterans Memorial Parkway.
“There are going to be a series of nodes that are going to tell different stories of the wars, the intermediary periods of the wars and the Holocaust,” said Mitch Barloga, president of the Friends of the Veterans Memorial Parkway. “At the very end by the volleyball courts, where the walking path ends, the concept is a plaza. We will have all the names of those from Lake County who died in both world wars etched on that plaza — 1,200 names will be on that plaza.”
The final phase of the project includes a roundabout at U.S. 231 and South Street and is slated to be complete in 2025.
There are various funding sources for this project, including a $2.6 grant from the Little Calumet River Basin and a $2.81 million grant from the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation.
Bids for the project have to be awarded by October 2023. Land said the City anticipates beating that deadline, with work slated to wrap up in late 2024.
When the park reopens to the public, the primary entrance will be located off U.S. 231, Land said. There will be a pedestrian entrance along South Street, he added.
The City will continue to provide updates on the project as work progresses. For more information, please call the Mayor’s Office at 219-662-3240.