Crompton Park Master Plan Meeting 3 Liveblog

Meeting 1, Meeting 2

A much smaller crowd than the previous two meetings — at this point, I’d guess 15ish people.  Which means I have elbow room!

We’ll likely start in a few minutes.

In Crompton Park Ice Skating Rink News — They are open daily as weather permits from 10am-5pm.  There will be special Friday evenings on January 28 from 5-8pm and February 11 from 5-8pm.  Call 508-755-1228 to confirm weather and ice conditions. 

Free used skates available if they have a pair that fits you (M-F noon-2pm at Pernet Family Health Service).

6:38 – Rob Antonelli opens the meeting.  Today is the final concept that “will guide us into all the future improvements to this wonderful park facility.”  (Should be noted that Barbara Haller and Paul Gunnerson, parks commissioner, are here.)

Gene Belanger will discuss the final plan.  They want to hear what people’s priorities are in the items that will be presented tonight.

A lady says that she does not want any sports eliminated; Belanger reassures her that she’ll be pleased with the plan.

6:43 – Michael M. speaking.  This plan allows us to use every corner of the park.

Starting at the pool area, the parking (32 spaces) would be on the other side (if you’re facing the pool from the street, left side) and move the handball courts near the tennis courts (so, to the left of the parking lot).  The football court would be on a diagonal, with the three ball fields in corners (I’ll try to take pictures so that you can see it).

They were able to add two full-sized basketball courts (where basketball is now), shifted towards the hill slightly.  Near the flat area where there’s currently a driveway would be unscripted, with pathways leading to a memorial/gathering space with arbor and specialty paving.

6:49 – They’re talking about expaning out the community room, having a concession area/bathroom area, which would be accessible from both inside and outside the building.  This would join into where the memorial plaza area would be.  Shaded as well.

Question about who it would be a memorial to.

The landscape designers noted that there were memorial pillars, etc., outside.  The residents note that some of them are site-specific. 

Doesn’t necessarily need to be memorial, but it would be a good gathering place that would be able to tie into the existing building.

6:55 – Playground equipment.  Non-prescriptive playground (climbing, stepping elements) rather that a traditional playground.  (Non-prescriptive = you can access it from multiple sides, one component has a lot of functions as opposed to just one)

They will put some equipment in at first, and then when the driveway is gone, there will be more added.

6:58 — Too bad there aren’t any kids here tonight.

Concern about installation of blacktop/parking where there were just trees planted.

Planners say that a survey will determine thing more.

Also, there are two tennis courts now; in the new plan there will be one.

Rob says that there would be a possibility that the trees could be moved (if they needed to be) or there could be new trees planted. 

7:01 — Same commenter says that she doesn’t want the pool to open at the same time a parking lot is being constructed.  Response — there’s no way that the parking lot could get done that quickly.

Another question — first aid station?

Rob — leagues and organizations are responsible for that function.

What about if there was a skatepark?  Answer: no.  There can be recommendations, etc.

Question about ice rink.  Answer: Still at tennis court, could still be converted to ice rink.

Question about park rules & regs — Park closes at 10pm [unless you have a permit].

Rob mentions the skatepark at Green Hill, and says that there’s relatively little trouble there.  There’s concern about whether kids would continue to use the skatepark after 10pm, that Green Hill isn’t residential area in the way that Crompton Park is.  (“I can hear all the noise now” says someone.  Someone else says that the sound of kids playing is a beautiful sound period.)

If someone’s out there at 2am, it’s trespassing.

Would the performance area (in the corner where the hill is) be big enough to have concerts like Elm Park?  The answer is yes.

7:09 – Q: are there plan Bs in case some of these things don’t work?  (Skatepark – yes).  We could start the performance area/amphitheater out small, to see if certain parts would work.  That is, put in an electrical pad first, with perhaps a few other elements, and add on.

Reiteration that this is not the same as an East Park pavillion.  On a sunny day, someone could just sit there and read under the shade of an arbor.

7:12 – Q: How many people could fit into that space?  A: a couple hundred.

Parking spots on Endicott Street — in a couple of locations they made it parallel parking to give more green space.  [For those of you following at home, all of those parking spots are technically park land, even though they tend to be used by residents.]

What about El Delicioso?  (There is no real answer to this, but it was half-said in jest.)

Rob reiterates that the spots on Endicott are park land, and that most of them aren’t being used for park purposes.  There’s a neighborhood need, and a park need, and it’s about balancing the two.

They have funding set aside for part of the playground, which should be done this year.

All of this is $4-6 million.  There’s about $250,000 set aside right now.

Councilor Haller says that there will need to be a lot of advocacy on both local and state (and resident) levels to keep this going.

When this goes to the parks commission, there will be a conceptual design for the playground.  The neighbors can give input into the playground at that point.  (The playground will be handicapped accessible.)  The $250k will cover the playground, surveying, planning, etc.  Not a lot left over.

7:26 — the conversation turns to expaning the building.  If we were going to expand the room we’re in now… the group that currently uses it needs some space for storage.  That would be secured.  The way the restrooms would work would be that they are accessible from both inside and outside. 

Restroom attendants — a league or organization would take care of the bathrooms.  Not open all day and all night, they would have a key to open/lock.  The gentleman from the league who was here last time says that many of the leagues would likely be willing to have that responsibility.

7:34 – The Endicott St. playground would be eliminated relatively quickly.  Debate about whether we’d want one there.  (In the plan, it’s unstructured grassy area.)

If play is still needed there, then we can discuss it.  But many folks had wanted an unstructured play area, and if you put in another playground, then you’d lose that free space.

There will be a Crompton Park sign — but where would you want it?

A lot of yelling about the sign.  The discussion gets redirected to focus on the playground.

(My battery is running low, but I think we’re wrapping things up anyway.)

7:51 — Rob says that diagonal parking on Quinsigamond Ave might be a little tough, and that it might not work with a bike route.

7:54 — which parks are we competing against [for funding]?  All the others, but  Antonelli says “we’re going to try to do the best we can to do what we can.” Haller says it’s one of the top priorities in D4.

7:56 — Could carpenters and/or United Way assist with the fence needs?

8:01 — Discussion of vehicles in the park and how eventually this can be prevented.

Parks Commission will be discussing rules & regs with leagues at their next meeting.  If the trash situation gets out of hand, they will either have to take away their trash, pay for a parks staffperson to staff the facility, or pay for trash removal.

I think we’re wrapping things up.  But I keep thinking that. 

I’ll sign off for now, but I think this is it.