ANDERSON – Plans to convert the former parking lot at the Edgewood Plaza as a temporary park have been delayed and work is not expected to be completed soon.
In the meantime, contracts for a second project for the beautification of Jackson Street and construction of a fountain near the former train depot could be awarded today.
In March, Anderson city officials announced it was demolishing three buildings in the area of the former Edgewood Plaza on Nichol Avenue, with plans to remove the asphalt parking area surrounding the Pizza Hut restaurant and to plant wild flowers and create walking paths.
The work was scheduled to be completed by June 1 and was to include graffiti boards with artwork to be displayed.
The three buildings have been demolished and the pavement removed but there has been no attempt to plant wild flowers or create walking paths.
Levi Rinker of the Anderson Economic Development Department said the street department will not be spreading dirt on the former parking lot as had been anticipated.
He said seeds would be planted within the next two to three weeks.
“The graffiti boards will not be installed,” Rinker said. “The decision was made after concerns were expressed by the community. We’re not able to do that art plan.”
Rinker said area residents believed the graffiti boards would be counter-productive for the area.
The city is using old “United Way” banners that students will be allowed to paint and then be placed on display, he said.
“It will be a display of student art,” Rinker said. “We may use the panel board artwork at the skate park.”
Removal of the asphalt parking lot was viewed as the first step in creating a gateway entrance into Anderson at the intersection of Raible and Nichol avenues.
The work to be completed in 2015 will include the planting of trees on the south side of Nichol Avenue, decorative lighting, new curbs and gutters and a gateway sign at the intersection.