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home : columnists : betsy reason August 21, 2017


8/11/2017 4:00:00 AM
Focus turns to Seminary Park
The Times photo by Betsy ReasonSeminary Park, the location for a Noblesville Preservation Alliance-sponsored Community Picnic in June, is expected to receive upcoming City improvements.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason

Seminary Park, the location for a Noblesville Preservation Alliance-sponsored Community Picnic in June, is expected to receive upcoming City improvements.

By Betsy Reason
Editor


While Noblesville Deputy Mayor Steve Cooke has received a lot of grief about his controversial idea to build homes at Seminary Park and to turn our Nickel Plate Rail line into trails, I still follow him on Twitter.

That's because his Tweets are usually about promoting Noblesville.

Thursday, his Tweets encouraged folks to come out and donate blood during the Indiana Blood Center drive at the Wastewater Department on Washington Street in Noblesville's Southwest Quadrant neighborhood.

Earlier this week, his Tweets were about Noblesville Marching Millers taking home first place at Indiana State Fair Band Day, sharing how Noble Crossing Elementary teachers are trading school desks for medicine balls and yoga mats, and cheering about the new class of Hamilton County Leadership Academy, of which he is a recent graduate.

Also in his Tweets, Cooke encouraged folks to come out Aug. 18 and Sept. 1 to Federal Hill Commons to have Lunch & Listen on Food Truck Fridays. He tweeted about the City's celebrated improvements made to Southside Park, the location of Thursday's blood drive, where he tweeted about giving blood himself. And he applauded Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission's Shakespeare in the Park, which took place the last two weekends.

Granted, sometimes his Tweets come after my bedtime. But most come in the middle of my day. Like Thursday, during the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce luncheon, as I was sitting at the table with his wife, Marnie Cooke, Noblesville Schools director of marketing and communications. My phone notiified me that I had a Tweet from Cooke. And I was quite pleased to say that his Tweet was about unveiling possible Seminary Park plans, to honor Noblesville history.

He apparently has learned how important that Seminary Park is to our Old Town neighborhood. Noblesville Parks and Planning departments have proposed to make improvements to the park, including not only adding programming but more trees, benches and picnic tables, adding a path, creating butterfly gardens, vintage lighting,gazebo improvements, a dog station, bike racks and a wrought-iron fence and arched gateway that honor the park's 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.

He also shared that the City of Noblesville would invite the community to ask questions and give feedback during a one-hour public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 29 at Noblesville City Hall. Then, upcoming, the City Council would listen to a final proposal.

Thank you, Mr. Cooke and the City of Noblesville, for listening to our residents. We look forward to hearing and seeing more of what you have in store for our Seminary Park.

-Contact me at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.









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