MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — Members of the Michigan City Redevelopment Committee and the Michigan City Common Council gathered Thursday morning at City Hall as Keynote speaker and tourism expert Roger Brooks answered questions and addressed concerns about the city’s upcoming civic center that is planned to increase commerce and resident activity in the Uptown Arts District.
During the meeting, Brooks showed attendees computer generated renditions depicting a multitude of ideas on how the new plaza can be utilized to help provide citizens with more activities and events as well as to help increase foot traffic in the Uptown Arts District and boost sales in local shops and restaurants along Franklin Street and in the surrounding area.
Some of the ideas included a “splash pad” that will also serve as a water show that moves along to music and is lit with LED lighting, chess and checkers tables, picnic tables, a portable 10,000 square foot ice skating rink, and a stage to host live music and movie nights as well as numerous other ideas.
“The whole idea with plazas is that they are programmed,” said Brooks in his speech. “250 days of activity. So you might have a 5,000 square foot splash pad that may be 120 days of the year, you might have an ice rink for 120 days of the year, you might do ‘movies on the square’, farmer’s markets, public markets, art fairs, bridal shows, flower and garden shows, you name it, the whole thing is programmed.”
The workshop also allowed residents to voice their concerns about the project such as one resident who expressed concern about security, loitering, and maintenance of the plaza.
Although, complete plans have not been finalized and the committee is seeking the public’s input on what ideas should be implemented, some core features of the plaza will include the “splash pad”, ice skating rink, and stage.
Brooks will be available once again to address the public and speak about the plaza during the rally that will be held Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the corner of 7th and Franklin Streets on the field where the plaza is scheduled to be built.
According to officials, the rally will remain at that location as long as the weather permits and will be held at the Michigan City Senior Center located at Two on the Lake if the weather interferes with the original outdoor location.
All residents and members of the public are invited to attend and ask questions or voice their support or concerns about the project.
The Michigan City Redevelopment Committee will continue to gather feedback on the project from the public from now through September and plan to work closely with Marquette Catholic High School and Michigan City Area Schools to also gather feedback from the city’s younger population.