Water flows under a pedestrian bridge at Delia Park last spring.

Water flows under a pedestrian bridge at Delia Park last spring.

File photo by Deb Jacques

New community center, dog park on the way

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published April 8, 2019

STERLING HEIGHTS — The creative work of Sterling Heights’ Recreating Recreation initiative has several more months ahead, though officials aim to wrap up substantial work by the end of 2019.

During an April 2 City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool highlighted a few more upcoming projects associated with the recreation campaign, which voters narrowly approved and funded through a millage in 2016. Some of the already-completed work includes the Dodge Park pavilion and ice rink, a new amphitheater, a splash pad and a skate park, plus other improvements to the various city parks.

Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Langlois said the campaign is entering its third year with a “very, very busy year of park projects.”

He said the newest batch of projects will involve building improvements at Delia, Nelson and Farmstead parks. He said some improvements will affect restrooms; for instance, the city will replace paper towels with hand dryers to curb litter and save money.

More specifically, he said, Delia Park’s renovations will include new concrete and asphalt outside parking lots and reconfigured soccer fields to increase their number, even if they’re smaller.

He also said that a new cricket field will be installed, and the long-anticipated dog park will be at Delia Park, near the tennis courts; it will likely be formally complete by later this fall, Langlois added.

“This approximately 2-acre, fenced-in facility will have a dedicated off-leash area for the general dog population, as well as a separated area for the smaller dogs,” he said.

And now that spring has arrived, the city is eagerly awaiting further construction on the new community center that will operate near the intersection of Dodge Park and Utica roads. City officials have set a goal of the end of 2019 to open that facility.

“We will be putting a full-court press on the completion of the community center,” he said. “Of course, the polar vortex and many bouts of irritating snow complicated progress this winter, but we are very optimistic that the progress in the next couple of months will prove to be beneficial … It’s amazing, each good day that they have, how much progress they’re making.”

Vanderpool added that it’s nice to see lots of people using new Recreating Recreation features, like the skate park and the Dodge Park soccer, basketball and volleyball areas.

“Undoubtedly, thousands of residents are enjoying these amenities every day,” he said.

In conjunction with Langlois’ presentation, the City Council passed, through its April 2 consent agenda, line items for building project work on Delia, Nelson and Farmstead parks for around $556,800, as well as more Delia Park work for another estimated $999,900.

Find our more about the Sterling Heights parks and the Parks and Recreation Department by visiting www.myshpr.net.