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Johnstown Central Park Development

Johnstown City leaders held a design open house on Wednesday after reviewing community feedback on a major update to the downtown area.

The New York based firm – Scape Landscape Architecture – presented 3 different design concepts to the public last month in hopes of engaging the community to be a part of the project and receive some feedback.

Now a month later, A final design has been chosen that incorporates public art, accessibility and a water feature among other things.

“Some of the things in the plan include a new performance area that’s very accessible with a big lawn for people to sit on and enjoy concerts and other activities, There’s a play area with an interactive fountain. There’s a quieter part of the park that will have a storm water glen and the monument walk. We’re going to keep some the military monuments that are in the park today.”

The funding for the project comes from the city’s ARPA funds, or the American Rescue Plan Act funds provided for Covid-19 pandemic relief, and the city’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Scape will receive 1.6 million dollars for their work.

Some of the memorial monuments, like the Pasquerilla Fountain will be moved to the Sandyvale conservancy after discussion with veteran groups.

“We had a really great response, We had a lot of veteran input, and now it’s kind of a compromise. There will be some movement of monuments, but there will also be an opportunity to have a designated park, a Veteran’s park.”

Residents emphasize that one of the biggest features of the design plan should be the accessibility of Central Park.

“I was talking to them about accessibility and there’s a whole lot of stuff that can be improved, There’s a whole lot of stuff that Central Park gets right. There’s four separate accessible entrances to the park. Not many places have four entrances.”

Organizers say they hope to have a ground-breaking by the middle of next year.

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