The performance area has been completed and work continues at Veterans Memorial Park with the installation of a new ADA-compliant ramp, connecting the park with the municipal parking lot, commonly known as the basin.

Town Planner Bill Nemser said the plan to redesign the park began in 2016 with a series of community workshops. The meetings were well attended, and included a broad cross-section of stakeholders. With input from attendees and a grant from the Community Preservation Committee, CBA Landscape Architects, LLC of Cambridge, redesigned the park.

Funding for the performance area came from the Community Preservation Committee, Nemser said, and approved at Town Meeting. It is flush with the ground and was designed with input from the Maynard Community Band director, and other groups, including the high school theater group and the library.

“So the reason it’s the size it is and the shape it is – there were configurations proposed of all different things, ranging from a shell to an elevated stage – but in the end this is the kind of thing they wanted,” said Nemser.

In addition to summer concerts by the Maynard Community Band, they are hoping the area will be used for other events, including outdoor plays and more concerts, he said.

“That is going to become a focal point,” he said.

 

The next phase

The park was redesigned so construction could be completed in phases.

The next phase is the ramp connecting Nason Street to the basin, which Nemser said they are trying to rebrand as the “plaza.” Because of parking concerns, the location of the ramp was moved so only two parking spaces will be lost.

The switchback ramp, as it is called, will be ADA compliant, with a gentle slope and hand rails. Construction of the ramp, which costs about $120,000, is funded with a Community Development Block Grant. The ramp should be completed in time for the Maynard Community Band summer concert performances, he said.

They are also applying for grants to construct walkways throughout the park to make it completely accessible.

The park is well used, he said.

“Memorial Park is designed to be a place of reflection and a place of honoring those who served,” he said.

The redesign honors that use.

“But the rest of the park is extraordinarily active,” he added. “So we looked at how we could improve that space, how we could maximize it.”

One of the goals of the project is to connect the park with Maynard’s downtown, particularly the plaza.

“We are trying to make that more of a place,” Nemser said. “It will stay a parking lot of course, but we would like it to be a little more inviting, safer, landscaped better.”

Nemser said the town will also be applying for grants to improve the plaza, to make it safer for pedestrians.