A demolition crew has been busy over the past couple of weeks knocking down and removing structures, digging up concrete and trees, and hauling off debris in preparation for the construction of Corning’s City Plaza and Recreation Center Project funded through an $8.5 million state grant.
The demolition work started right after City officials held a groundbreaking ceremony and ribbon cutting Feb. 27 at the park site located on the city block between Solano Street and Marin Avenue north and south, and Fourth and Third streets east and west.
Mayor Robert Snow, after cutting the ceremonial ribbon, said he welcomes the addition to the community and looks forward to the opportunities the Plaza and Recreation Center will provide to Corning’s residents.
City Manager Kristina Miller said the project aims to bring much-needed space for recreation programs and community events.
The City was awarded the $8.5 million Department of Parks and Recreation Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization grant in 2021.
However, since 2018 the city has been working to solicit community ideas for the park in preparation for the lengthy application process.
Once awarded the grant, work began with approval from the City Council to conduct an asbestos remediation study, purchase the empty lot across the street from the park for additional parking, and during the March 14 City Council meeting will discuss hiring a design company for the project.
The park project is designed to have an outdoor amphitheater, a colorful splash pad with bright water features, solar lighting, chess tables, picnic tables, music play, and a 15,000 square-foot recreation center. A walking path bordering the city plaza is included.
Inside the recreation center will be a gymnasium, a dance classroom, a matted room, a culinary classroom, a language learning room, an art classroom, and space for an office.
“The Recreation Center and City Plaza will act as a catalyst to revitalize downtown (Corning), create a sense of place for community events and activities, and provide recreational opportunities for residents,” Miller said.
It is anticipated construction on the project will take at least two years.
Miller said the space will be home to planned community events, the Corning Tuesday Market, the City Recreation Department program and open for the public to use and enjoy.