PIQUA — The city’s dog park will find itself a new home at Pitsenbarger Park and Sports Complex next summer.
“It will be just south of the community garden area is where we’re looking at right now,” City Manager Gary Huff said.
The city’s dog park was formerly located at the top of a hill at Hollow Park. The dog park was removed earlier this year after it was found that it was not handicapped-accessible and did not meet ADA compliance.
The new dog park will be accessible to everyone, as there are plans to construct it near a parking lot at Pitsenbarger Park and Sports Complex and to also have a path leading to the dog park from the parking lot.
“It’s close by parking. It’s all flat,” Huff said. “Access from the parking lot to the dog park would be paved … It would be fully accessible.”
The dog park will also see new features, including fenced-in areas for the dogs.
Huff said that the city plans to begin constructing the park as soon as the weather breaks in the spring next year.
Other plans to expand and improve Pitsenbarger Park and Sports Complex are coming after the completion of the city’s Parks Master Plan. Huff said that there are three or four properties along McKinley Avenue that the city would like to purchase over a period of time in order to expand the park.
The city recently purchased the property at 808 McKinley Ave. at a cost of $25,000. The owner approached the city about selling the property to the city, according to Huff at the recent city commission meeting.
The existing site at Pitsenbarger Park and Sports Complex is 67 acres containing baseball, softball, Little League, soccer, and football fields, along with tennis courts, a swimming pool, skate park, picnic facilities, play equipment, and community gardens, according to the master plan document. The master plan notes that it is in need of “improvement and reorganization,” as the “current organization of fields on site does not maximize space usage or provide efficient circulation.”
A conceptual plan of improvements at Pitsenbarger — one that could be implemented over the five to 10 years — included adding a gathering space/plaza at the corner of McKinley Avenue and South Street, a dog park along McKinley, basketball courts, and a playground. A concession stand and storage building would be added in a central location between the sporting event fields.
West and north expansions were also included in the concept, which could include overflow parking for large sporting events, new natural areas, and a trail connection. It would require the acquisition of the property directly adjacent to the existing site and a large agricultural parcel of land northwest of the existing site.
The improvements to the sports complex could make the site a potential host to traveling sporting events and tournaments.
These improvements were listed as a possible visionary project. Under critical projects, Pitsenbarger was noted as needing repairs to resurface and update the playground, update the pool, update fencing, and improve design standards.
“We’ll continue to develop and improve our parks as time goes on,” Huff said.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336