Avena Park renovations planned

The park fall zones have been installed or improved at Avena Park in St. Elmo. Over the coming months and years, the park board and Dieterich Bank are working to improve the Centennial Building and offerings at the site. Work on a new patio area for the Centennial Building could be completed by the spring.

After removing the pool, the Avena Township Park Board is looking into several ways to improve the park in St. Elmo.

“We are very interested in sprucing it up,” secretary-treasurer Daryl Calvert said.

Fall zones surrounding current equipment are being installed or improved.

Calvert said that the board would like to add a climbing or jungle gym piece to the park, but with costs ranging from $17,000 on up for such equipment, it is a long-range goal. The board has also discussed adding something to bring children and adults together, such as exercise pieces.

At the moment, the board is tasked with paying for the pool removal, but then would like to look into a few aesthetic projects. Equipment is in the process of being painted and swings have been added.

The Centennial Building is a focus of planning. Calvert said that the board would like to have the concrete floor painted, add handicapped-accessible parking, and revamp the entrance, as well as adding landscaping to the site. The board has also discussed adding a sign to the building in order that the “Centennial Building” name will come into more common usage.

The St. Elmo branch of Dieterich Bank, as part of a company-wide community outreach program, is exploring ways to help. Retail Banking Manager Julie Pryor said that the bank is looking to add a patio to the east of the building. She is soliciting bids for the removal of a tree that sits on the proposed patio site and whose roots have grown under the building.

After collecting the bids, the bank will determine whether or not to move forward with the patio project. The bank may also look into soliciting donations to fund the installation of shade for the patio.

Pryor said that the goal is to have the tree removed this fall and the p
atio installed by next spring. If that project is not pursued beyond bidding, the bank will turn its attention to the lighting of the basketball courts.

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