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home : columnists : columnists July 25, 2017

3/8/2017 8:34:00 AM
Seminary Park means a lot to the community
The Times photo by Betsy ReasonSeminary Park is at 10th and Division Streets.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason

Seminary Park is at 10th and Division Streets.

By Betsy Reason

The City of Noblesville's Seminary Park housing project is done, dead and over. Thank goodness.

But I fear that the housing project - the city selling the park to a developer who would build a single neighborhood of 12 homes on the Seminary Park property - could have easily happened had The Times not reported on it.

Bringing this project out into the open has turned into a positive for the community.

It's obvious from the outpouring response that this neighborhood park is important to us all.

On Monday, I shared The Times' story and my column about Seminary Park on social media, specifically Facebook, both on my page and The Times' page, plus on the Next Door neighborhood app.

Because of the topic and the community's passion to save Seminary Park, we have received dozens of comments on our website, many letters to the editor, plus feedback on Facebook and Next Door. On my Facebook page alone, I've had 46 comments, 66 shares and all but two of the reactions being a sad or angry emoji (a smiley used on social media to capture emotions).

Hopefully, the City would use this opportunity to reach out to the public and to better understand the community's needs, while helping to preserve a part of history.

The city-owned park is at 200 S. 10th St., bounded by 10th, 11th, Division and Hannibal streets. The park was established in 1983. But the history of the park goes back to 1850, when Seminary School, the first public school in Hamilton County, opened on that property. The school building was replaced in 1872 with the second Seminary School, which eventually became Second Ward School. The school property was given to the City with the agreement that it would always remain a park; I've been told that the history can be found in archived meeting minutes.

Hopefully, this outpouring from the community will encourage the City to do upgrades to the park, as well as offer programming there, and promote the venue to local organizations as well as a place for celebrations, such as weddings and other gatherings.

If City officials didn't understand or take to heart the value and priorities of the citizens, they do now.

-Contact me at betsy@thetimes24-7.com. Read the City's response to The Times article, Common Council Mary Sue Rowland's guest column and response to the City's response, plus letters to the editor and more in today's edition of The Times.

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