Engineer Works Pro Bono to Create Multi-Phase Project Proposal for Town of Winamac

A multi-phase project that could include a splash pad, a pool, and a perimeter path was presented to Winamac officials and residents Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the Winamac Town Council and Park Board, as well as representatives from the Pool Committee and Pulaski County Wellness Center gathered at the Utilities Complex to hear a presentation from Engineer Jason Miller.

The special session was purely informational and no official decisions were made.

Miller introduced himself and mentioned that he is the President and Director of Engineering for the firm Randall, Miller and Associates. Up to this point, he’s been working on project plans for the pool committee free of charge.

Miller explained that suggestions from the pool committee as well as some ideas from a similar project that he worked on in Logansport were the driving forces for his proposal.

He shared, “My idea, based on our last meeting, was to take the existing location of the pool that has been filled in and the thought was what if we were to put the splash pad on top of the existing pool and then take the existing parking lot and make that the new pool.”

Miller noted that the idea would also call for a new parking lot to be installed on the south-east corner of the designated development area, south of the skate park.  He added that perimeter path could be put in around the amenities to give parents something to do nearby.

Someone asked why the splash pad location was being proposed at the old pool site and Miller noted that a nearby pump house and some existing plumbing could potentially be utilized to cut down on costs.

When it comes to how much money would be required for engineering services and construction, Miller said he couldn’t provide any specific figures until he had a better idea about what the actual scope of the project would be. Determining that will require some prioritization and decision making in the Town of Winamac.

While he didn’t provide any solid numbers, Miller did touch on a potential funding opportunity. He emphasized the fact that in-kind contributions played a big part in the Logansport project.

Officials there sought out corporate sponsors who were willing to donate materials and labor as well as volunteers from the schools to assist with artistic aspects of the project.

He noted that aside from helping to cut down on the costs, the local contributions of time, talents and donations provided a sense of community buy-in and allowed everyone to feel that they were sharing ownership. 

Miller highlighted the fact that a project like this would need to be tackled in phases and made sure that everyone was aware of the fact that adjustments could be made to ensure the plan was the best fit for Winamac.

He mentioned that the installation of a splash pad could serve as a good jumping off point for future development in the area.

One of the concerns raised by the public was that a lot of older, active community members have contributed to the pool project and that a splash pad wouldn’t serve those citizens.

In response, Miller noted that he proposed the plan with the splash pad first because that was the most cost-effective option.

There was a consensus amongst audience members that the proposed idea was a good one and that it would be beneficial to look into a 10-year plan that would lay how to practically approach a project of this magnitude.

Park Board member Jon Chapman weighed in, noting that the Park Board recently developed a 5-year plan and didn’t see the necessity in getting a new one put together.

Funding concerns seemed to be the main reason why there was an objection to securing Miller’s services or moving forward with any of the ideas right away. In addition to that, Town Council President Tom Murray reiterated the fact that the Town has pulled their support for a pool project for the time being.  

The installation of the splash pad is something the Park Board has been researching and is in favor of doing but they haven’t established a location yet.

Another unanswered question is where that funding would come from. There is a possibility that members could apply for some money in the next grant round but it wouldn’t be guaranteed and it would still require matching funds.

Ultimately, it was decided that some more planning needs to happen internally before any external assistance can be provided. The topic will likely be readdressed as officials work to assess the community’s priorities.

You can see the proposed design plans below: