May 22—WAPAKONETA — A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Saturday morning to mark the completion of the renovation of Heritage Park.
The Ohio Department of Transportation worked with the City of Wapakoneta to create the project along the Auglaize River, just south of the downtown area.
The project includes 3,000 feet of multi-use paths that connect Heritage Park and Belcher Park on the other side of the river.
A new shelter house features a fireplace for park gatherings and public restrooms.
The project added more green space, benches, bike racks and picnic tables to both Heritage and Belcher Parks.
"We watched this project begin during the pandemic so it provided entertainment, hope and excitement as to what's to come and we couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out," said Jackie Martell, executive director of the Wapakoneta Chamber of Commerce.
The project was made possible through the Ohio Department of Transportation and included a total rebuild of Heritage Drive.
"These types of projects are kind of rare for us. We're mainly about roads and bridges and keeping those maintained. So when we get an opportunity for what we call these transportation alternative projects, they're really special," said Randy Chevalley, ODOT District 7, deputy director.
Garmann Miller served as architects for the project and Helms and Sons were the general contractors.
"We are glad the project is completed and it turned out great. The partnership and ongoing support from ODOT will continue as we make further enhancements and minor repairs over the year ahead," said Tom Stinebaugh, Wapakoneta's mayor. "Everyone is happy and it's been great to see the community already using the new park areas."
The first official event for the park happened Friday night for the Party in the Park.
"You just see so many ways that we can use it. Just today there's an ad hoc car cruise-in happening, just among friends and they do that every Saturday. Last week, during Police Week, the police departments were down here with their dogs, doing a demonstration and United Way is here today doing a duck race, so it's so great to have a place that can be utilized in many, many ways," Martell said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.