HUDSON — Work is continuing on a passive recreation area on North Oviatt Street at the site of the former Hudson Elementary School, and city officials are reminding residents that the site remains closed to the public.
The 2.1-acre green pace area — which is known as Old School Green — will include new playground equipment and a large circular concrete pathway with four paths leading toward the corners of the property, according to city spokesperson Jody Roberts. Brick pavers will create a play area on the eastern side with a bike rack, and the site will include at least five benches.
Vizmeg Landscape Inc. is seeding, mulching and removing driveway pavement, Roberts said. Vizmeg, which is being paid $300,000 for the work,will install playground equipment as it’s delivered.
"Please remember that the park will remain closed to the public until the project has been completed," said Roberts, who added the city will maintain the site.
Roberts said she does not have an estimated completion date yet. She added that once the work is finished, there will be a ribbon cutting.
The site is located at 34 N. Oviatt St.
Anonymous donation paying for project
The project is happening through a unique funding arrangement. Sheryl Sheatzley, spokesperson for the Hudson City School District, said the land was owned by the district and was the site of Union School and then Hudson School/Hudson Elementary School, which closed in 2007. An anonymous party offered to donate money to make the parcel a passive recreation area, according to Sheatzley.
"An agreement was eventually completed between the schools, city, and the donor for sale of the land," said Sheatzley.
Council in December 2018 approved the purchase and sale agreement with the school district and the $755,000 donation agreement with the donor. $500,000 of that donation was used by the city to purchase the land from the district, said Roberts.
After the district sold the land to the city, the donor provided a plan to the city and "is paying for the construction costs and elements to be located in the park, except for the commemorative plaques," explained Sheatzley.
Sheatzley said the school district has an easement in the green space area where it will place two plaques, one commemorating Union School and the other commemorating Hudson School. Union School closed in 1913, while Hudson School opened in 1914 — when it housed students at all grade levels — and closed in 2007 when it was an elementary school.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.