Right now, the City of Beachwood is undergoing a transformational change that will impact residents throughout our community. I’m referring to projects on the property surrounding the Beachwood Family Aquatic Center. We are currently designing plans to include and feature six pickleball courts, two volleyball courts and a relocated and expanded community garden space. We are very excited about these projects because we know how much residents are eager for these opportunities. They serve residents of all ages, and they promote mental and physical wellbeing.
This highly comprehensive and ambitious project will involve earthwork/grading, concrete, conduit for future lighting, and additional stormwater drainage. City Council voted last month, after discussion in an August committee meeting, authorizing city engineer, GPD Group, to develop detailed design plans so the project can be competitively bid.
With respect to the community gardens, the current location, which is located on asphalt previously used for basketball courts, was never intended to be a permanent solution. The gardens were quickly created in 2020, to safely bring residents together during the height of COVID. Now that we have witnessed the facility’s tremendous success, the time has come to move them to a permanent location. We currently have 38 boxes (76 individual gardens) along with one raised accessible garden.
The plan for the new community garden area is to move it closer to parking lots surrounding the City Hall and Community Center, which will better accommodate residents, and will be ADA compliant. It will include the addition of 10 shade shelters, more hose bibs, a shed and an expanded walkway. All components of this project are being handled in the first-class manner residents have come to expect from this city and its Public Works Department, led by Chris Arrietta.
The location will eliminate the need to walk through the tennis and pickleball courts to access the gardens. The new plan will have a total of 43 boxes which will accommodate 86 individual 8X8 garden plots. The community garden relocation project is scheduled for completion by Memorial Day weekend 2023, so as to not negatively impact the 2023 growing season (weather dependent).
The popularity of pickleball is and has been on the rise and our residents have been asking for dedicated pickleball courts. A group of Beachwood residents have banded together and are very interested in seeing this project come to fruition. Our goal is to have the pickleball courts available sometime late summer/early fall 2023.
Throughout much of the planning for this development, which is in close proximity to the Beachwood City Schools’ property, we have collaborated closely with the district’s administration. They recently resurfaced basketball courts at Hilltop for community use and we respected the school district’s interest in preserving our 8 tennis courts which are needed for the school’s tennis program.
We continue to make creative use of our space, most notably with our City Hall and Community Center parking lots which have been host to concerts, movie nights, CLE Market, Fall Festival and other special events. I’m very proud of the work handled by the Community Services Department, led by Derek Schroeder, which executes on all the details related to these events. We are also working on plans to upgrade our current playground and have obtained funding toward this project. Once plans are developed, this concept will be presented to City Council for approval/funding.
I hope residents share our excitement for what lies ahead next spring and summer. If you can’t wait that long and would like to walk the site to better understand how it will be designed and utilized, please feel free to reach out to Public Works Director Chris Arrietta, to schedule a tour. Chris can be reached at Chris.Arrietta@beachwoodohio.com or 216.292.1922.
We are thrilled to present these plans to our community and City Council as we take the necessary steps to bring this project to completion. We anticipate 2023 to be a whole new season for recreational opportunities in Beachwood!