Crown Point’s newest jewel was finally completed on Friday when Mayor David Uran cut the ribbon on Bulldog Park, an $11 million facility with splash pads, a massive pavilion, an amphitheater, and two-story community center.
Residents got a preview of the facility throughout the winter, as it partially opened for ice skating on an NHL-sized hockey rink. Hasse Construction and their partners worked overtime throughout the spring, and the rest of the complex is now open for business. Uran and the City of Crown Point invited the community to come out to the park for a ribbon-cutting and festival to celebrate the big day.
“Believe it or not - this project started out on a restaurant napkin,” Uran said. “We thought about what we could do to make sure our downtown is going to be vibrant and successful. We wanted to provide quality of life for our citizens and for Northwest Indiana and the Region.”
Despite rain for about 2/3rds of the month and other weather-related events throughout the winter and spring, all of the partners building Bulldog Park made it their mission to get the park ready before the summer.
“Summer is always short-lived so we had to get out here and give the kids and community something to do,” said Billy Hasse, Project Manager for Hasse Construction. “It’ll be a great space during the summer and all year round. There’s nothing else really like it in the Region, it’s almost one full city block of festivities going on.”
The project was made possible thanks to a large donation from the Dean and Barbara White Foundation and partnerships with local businesses and organizations such as Franciscan Health Crown Point, who secured naming rights to the park. Dan McCormick, M.D., CEO of Franciscan Health Crown Point, recalled the facility’s humble beginnings.
“I was here when it was just dirt. What it’s transformed into for the city of Crown Point is just absolutely fantastic,” Dr. McCormick said. “It’s something else to put Crown Point on the map, so congratulations to the Mayor on this accomplishment.”
The city already has a wide range of free concerts planned, with the amphitheater and bandshell providing space for 1,500 people. Breaking Dawn, one of Crown Point’s biggest hometown bands, were the first to take over the new stage. The community’s favorite events, such the Corn Roast, and regular Farmer’s Market are also moving to Bulldog Park.
“I can assure you that with this kind of investment we’re going to see more visitors, improve your quality of life, and change the landscape of businesses on the square,” said Speros Batistatos, President and CEO of the South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority. “I’ve got to tell you, this mayor and his team are awesome. If we could clone all of these people and drop them throughout Northwest Indiana, we’d have an incredible product to sell and this project is just one more feather in the cap.”
The festivities continue tomorrow, with the first Farmer’s Market at the new location, tree planting and Arbor Day activities, and a concert featuring the Positive Vibe Technicians and Dirt Born. Kids and families can enjoy bounce houses, the splash pads, and food and drinks from local favorites such as Carriage Court Pizza.