Community leaders are celebrating the completion of the first phase of construction of Mansfield’s West End improvement project, with a ceremony held outside The Dairy Queen on Glessner Avenue near OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital on Tuesday.
If you haven’t been to Glessner Avenue lately, there are new sidewalks and many other improvements sprucing up the area that is heavily used by many people at the hospital and other businesses.
Adrian Ackerman, director of Mansfield Community Development and Housing, updated the crowd on the changes being made, current progress towards continuing the plan and additional needs and goals.
The West End Improvement Area runs the full length of Glessner from South Main Street to Marion Avenue, runs north to West First Street, and includes a small portion of Park Avenue West.
Works include new curbs, parking screens
The first phase is a streetscape of Glessner Avenue between Wood and Arthur Streets that includes wider sidewalks and raised lawns, brick crosswalks, street trees, retaining walls, screens parking lot, new street curbs and ramps, and decorative street lighting.
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Community Leader Chuck Hahn said the city is starting to see things fall into place here and in the rest of the city.
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“It’s a great day. We’re looking forward to the next phase and hopefully we’ll keep pushing things forward here and downtown,” Hahn said.
Jon Young, who owns a property on Glessner Avenue, said he had buddies who told him you could do all the sprucing up you wanted, but how are you going to spruce up the neighborhood?
“We have a bad reputation on Wood Street, mostly at different ends of Wood Street,” he said.
He said that in the area around The Dairy Queen, businesses have always had great harmony and everyone works together.
“I started making new investments in my building and the neighbors get along very well,” he added.
Vinson Yates, president and CEO of OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, attended the reveal of the project.
An opportunity to change neighborhood
“I told people that if we didn’t help the whole neighborhood grow and expand, it would be a moment in time,” Yates said. “Our opportunity is to do something much deeper than that. It’s going to take a lot more than money. It’s going to take pride, it’s going to take a lot from the city and from us for us. think about it,” he said. .
Yates said he expects this hallway to be something everyone in the community can be proud of.
Mayor Tim Theaker said the corridor improves OhioHealth and the city.
He thanked Sharon May for her past work in community development and working with him and the city to focus on one area rather than multiple projects across the city; and he praised Ackerman for his efforts in executing the project.
“Then the idea had to be sold to Council, and it was, focusing on one area and expanding it for a mile and so on,” the mayor said.
“It all started with ‘Let’s concentrate the money in one place and let it pile up,'” Theaker said.
Ackerman said several properties have been purchased along the corridor.
“There were two houses in Blymyer and Glessner that were purchased and demolished using private funds in the name of this project, in the hope that it helps, Ackerman said. She said the company Fusco Dry Cleaner had been purchased and was in the middle of being renovated There is also a triplex being renovated.
She said a landlord opposite The Dairy Queen was going to paint the brick house to coincide with the new (brick) retaining walls put in place as part of the project.
“It really does a lot of things that we were hoping for, accessibility is there and safety with street lighting and of course driving that private investment,” she said.
Phase II is already underway
She said Phase II has been underway for six weeks now.
Costs are being determined. Engineering and architecture come next for the rest of Glessner Avenue. It can take 18 months to assemble this piece, she said.
She said there will be three phases from The Dairy Queen to Marion Avenue, Arthur to Mulberry and Mulberry to Main.
Ackerman said the funding was next.
“It won’t be a cheap project. We didn’t skimp on anything,” she added.
Rough estimates for engineering and architecture could be as high as $400,000, with construction in the range of $4 million, Ackerman said.
“We have a long way to go. As HUD funding comes in, we plan to use it,” Ackerman said.
Banners and flower pots are installed along each lamp post.