The Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners voted Thursday to continue discussion of a partnership between the city and Indiana Tech. This could allow Indiana Tech to build an athletic complex in Memorial Park.
The Parks Board voted to continue the discussion, which would include allowing the public to voice their opinions during an open meeting and finalizing the proposal.
Indiana Tech officials hope to build a track, softball field, and training facility at Memorial Park. The project would cost about $6.4 million.
Two memorials honoring veterans and some trees at the park would need to be moved to make room for the track, which has park commissioners concerned.
Landscape architect Tom Cain wants the original design of Memorial Park to be respected.
“Landscapes are more than just intrinsic trees and monuments and playgrounds, but they are complete designed entities, works of art using outdoor space and natural materials as their palette,” Cain said.
Representatives from ARCH, a historic preservation group in Fort Wayne, also spoke out against the proposal.
Another concern is whether the facilities will be open to the public. An Indiana Tech representative says the private university is working on allowing the track to stay open while the park is open, but there is no definitive plan. The softball diamond, which will replace a baseball diamond on the park’s northeast side, would be available for people to reserve.
The president of the Parks Board hopes this and other issues are resolved before the plan goes forward.