Proposed changes to Warsaw’s Center Lake Park to be made available to public in September

Details of a revamped Center Lake Park plan have been unveiled.

The biggest changes proposed by Design Collaborative, of Fort Wayne, include a renovation of the pavilion and construction of an open air building just to the west of the pavilion that would accommodate an ice rink.

The numerous proposed changes will be available at the Sept. 8 Safety Day event at Central Park for the public to see, and will be reviewed again by park board on Sept. 18.

Parks Superintendent Larry Plummer said the changes, if approved, would be phased in over numerous years.

No financial estimates have been determined, Plummer said.

The proposals were developed after a public meeting seeking input on what changes are needed at the park.

The improvements coincide with the Buffalo Street project to the west of Center Lake beach.

The Buffalo Street  development is separate and involves new housing a multi-use building and park plaza.

A proposed boardwalk would begin near the plaza  and stretch the length of the lake shore to the east to Bixler Park.

Other highlights include:

• Moving park offices into the pavilion. The offices need to be moved to make room for part of the Buffalo Street project.

• Construction of a pedestrian bridge over Ind. 15 that would tie in with the boardwalk and lead to a future path east of the road that leads to Lucerne Park, Pike Lake and further east to land near Kosciusko Community Hospital.

• Purchase of the gas station at the corner of Canal and North Detroit streets and development of a greenhouse and visitor center.

• Enhanced entrances and signage into the park on Detroit to accommodate motorists.

• New maintenance facility using part of the land currently used for a NIPSCO substation.

• A new pier to replace the existing one that causes water to stagnate and spurs development of e.coli.

Construction of an ice rink has been discussed for years and would boost programming opportunities during the winter, Plummer said.

He said he believes it would be similar in size to the rink at Headwaters Park in Fort Wayne.

The open air building could also be used for other programing when the ice rink is not being used, Plummer said.

The pavilion would be renovated to include more restrooms and enhanced views of the lake.

Center Lake Park abuts Central Park. Even though nearly all the changes involve land along the lake,  the changes are contained in a plan called the Warsaw Central Park Master Plan.

Preliminary work on Buffalo Street has already begun and will pick up more in the next few months.