After months of planning and the receipt of a grant worth upwards of $400,000 last February, a complete overhaul of Splaine Park should begin in the coming weeks.
Mayor Kim Driscoll has announced the selection of Georgetown-based Quirk Construction Corp. to undertake the full-scale renovation of the rundown park on May Street near the intersection of Boston and Essex Streets, and anticipates that work will begin early next month.
The grassroots effort to renovate the space was started two years ago by residents of Federal Street, just a short walk away.
The park will remain closed to the public during construction, which is expected to wrap up next summer. The tentative plan, according to Driscoll, is to rededicate the park in July.
Included in the plans is a community garden, dog run, new entrances, stone dust walking paths, fresh trees, and lights. A new pavilion with a half-open roof and upscale picnic tables, and a modern play set will replace the current ones.
The basketball court and baseball field will remain as they are for now, and designers with Michelle Crowley Landscape Architecture have reserved a space for a "spray area" and water fixtures in the future at Driscoll's request.
A touch of public art is also in the plans, as is a memorial to former Salem resident and World War I veteran John Splaine Jr., to whom the park was dedicated when it opened in 1953.
Ryan Mooney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.