June 20, 2018
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Ellsworth solidifies plans for new signature park

Mario Moretto | BDN
Mario Moretto | BDN
The most recent design sketches for Ellsworth's Knowlton Park are on display in City Hall. This drawing from Archipelago Landscape Architects shows a waterpark feature at right, next to a restroom facility. At top, a small fountain marks the entrance to the park, near a scaled-down gazebo
By Mario Moretto, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Residents curious about plans for Knowlton Park, the site of a former elementary school, can swing by City Hall to see the latest design sketches.

After getting input from the Knowlton neighborhood, Landscape Architect Victor Rydlizky has made a few changes to the rough plans originally proposed by the engineers at Woodard & Curran.

Included among those changes are the addition of a small fountain to mark the park’s entrance at the corner of State Street and Shore Road. The planned gazebo has been shrunk, and the planned amphitheater and ice skating rink have both been been relocated to be closer to other park features near State Street.

City Manager Michelle Beal said Thursday that the plan will go through at least two more rounds of public input before the final details are established. It’s still too early to put a price estimate on the park, Beal said, but city administrators and a committee working on the park plan are keeping the bottom line at the forefront as they plan.

“We’re very practical people in Ellsworth,” Beal said. “We want a park that’s usable and pretty, but not ostentatious. That’s not Ellsworth.”

Knowlton Park is one of two former school sites slated to be repurposed and expanded by the city in the coming years. While the Knowlton School was torn down in 2011, the former Bryant E. Moore School has been leased to the Down East Family YMCA and Friends in Action for day care and senior programming.

Earlier this month, the city sold a portion of the Moore School lot to First Atlantic Healthcare, which will build a new assisted living facility on the site.

Beal said the city’s planning board could take up proposals for that facility, as well as plans to expand the Moore School for senior services by January.

“It’s great to have these projects finally moving forward,” she said.

Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

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