COVINGTON — The village of Covington in western Miami County has received more than $500,000 in support this month from the Ohio capital budget and the state Brownfield program as it pursues the community’s first new park in 100 years.
The two state grants will go along with $500,000 awarded from the Ohio Land and Water Conservation Fund and more than $725,000 in private donations and pledges for the first phase of a planned three-phase $3.14 million Schoolhouse Park project. Private donations came from trusts, foundations and individuals, among others.
Covington sits about 6 miles southwest of Piqua and 10 miles northwest of Troy. The park will be located near the town’s physical center, near Maple and Grant streets, and is considered within walking distance of 80 percent of the village population of approximately 2,780.
Part of the project property was home for decades to the Covington High School (1931 to 1974) and the Middle School (1975 to 2016), leading to the Schoolhouse Park name.
The park plans were developed with input from the community and the assistance of Poggemeyer Design Group.
“I am not aware of any other parks quite like Schoolhouse Park. We are creating a one-of-a-kind park for a one-of-a-kind small town,” said Kyle Hinkelman, village administrator since 2021. “We have great schools, a brand-new downtown with a growing retail and shopping base, and a formidable business and industrial community. We are investing in ourselves, as we continue to look for people to come to Covington and help invest in our future.”
The park plan was modified three times to make it more inclusive and accessible for all ages, he said.
Village Mayor Ed McCord said work on design and fundraising has been underway for more than three years. “We look forward to seeing this dream become a reality,” he said.
The first phase, with work to begin this year, will include the site design and utility work, a splash pad, the bathroom/pavilion, an amphitheater, sidewalks and pathways, landscaping, a small pavilion and new green space/foundation for a new parking lot.
The Brownfield program funding of $275,000 will be for demolition and improvement of the Old Rudy Elevator property for use as a roadway and parking lot to service the park. The capital budget money will go toward Phase 1 expenses.
Additional elements planned for the park, but not yet paid for include:
- Park lighting
- Benches, picnic tables, trash cans, etc.
- Trailhead restrooms
- Bicycle pump track
- Climbing boulder
- Cornhole courts
- Pavilions (12x20, and 15x30)
- Additional sports courts
Anyone interested in more information on the park, including details on donations, naming or other opportunities, is asked to contact Hinkelman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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