Monroe gets first look at plans for new park at former Americana site

Monroe City Council had a chance to look at some preliminary conceptual ideas for the new entrance way and main building at Monroe Bicentennial Commons park on land that formerly housed Americana amusement park.

Consultants from Brandstetter Carroll provided some examples for color schemes and how the main entrance might look during Tuesday’s council meeting. The consultants are doing the design work for the project that will transform the former amusement park into community park with a number of features such as an amphitheater, a water feature, picnic shelters, playground and access to the Great Miami River Recreation Trail.

The project is expected to cost about $10 million and will be done in phases.

ExploreMORE: Architectural team to get started on plans for former Americana park, other Monroe sites

In August, the city entered a contract with Brandstetter Carroll for architectural services for four Monroe parks, including Monroe Bicentennial Commons. The agreement is for the consultants to create the schematic design, what the buildings will look like, and where utilities will be located.

Monica Sumner, Brandstetter Carroll vice president, presented the schematic design and color palette for the entrance area which will include a tall entrance archway — about 22 to 24 feet tall due to the large parking area and utilizing current structures at the entrance.

ExploreWATCH: A $10M plan is set for the former Americana Amusement Park. Take an aerial tour.

She said the entrance archway would be anchored with 12-foot-tall stone pillars as a base with 12-foot steel towers on top of the pillars. Sumner hopes to reuse some of the old steel used in the old park for the new entry.

“This would be a significant threshold experience for people entering the park,” she said.

Sumner said the idea for the three buildings would include shared covered porches around the structures. The largest building is near the entrance area and would feature a 900 square-foot multi-purpose room that could be divided for various functions. She said it would also have large openings on the side that could be opened leading to the covered porch. In addition, that building would also have an office area and storage space, she said.

Explore WHAT ARE THE PLANS? Developers want to keep look and feel of amusement park

Sumner said various museum and other Americana/LeSourdsville Lake memorabilia could be displayed in the main building.

“It’s important to keep that memorabilia,” said Councilwoman Christina McElfresh. “It’s important to a lot of people.”

Another adjacent building would be a dedicated restroom with a separate entrance for park goers and that would share the covered porch attached to all three buildings.

She said one of the adjacent small buildings would be a 15 foot by 15 foot concessions area/catering kitchen that would be converted from the old ice house.

Councilman Keith Funk suggested making this “a robust building with a larger kitchen.”

MORE: A look back at LeSourdsville Lake / Americana Amusement Park

Sumner shared the proposed color palettes for painting the buildings would be painted. She said the other colors not chosen could be utilized for other purposes such as signage, gathering and concession spaces and meeting rooms.

“We want to develop the architectural standards as the project continues,” she said.

ExploreMORE: PHOTOS: See what LeSourdsville Lake / Americana looks like now

Council also opted to choose a color — dusty green — for the main building at the entrance which will have a multi-purpose room, office and storage. An adjacent small building, formerly used as an ice house will be converted into a concessions/kitchen area and another building will be used for restrooms.

For the past few months, crews have been tearing down old dilapidated structures that will not be reused as well as the old concrete midways and sidewalks.

After the presentation, Vice Mayor Dan Clark said, “It’s what we’re envisioning.”

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