Grove City canines will soon have their own park to roam.
Construction began Monday, Aug. 12, on the new fenced-in, off-leash dog park off Demorest Road between Grove City Road and Southwest Boulevard, across the street from horse barns owned by Beulah Park.
The new park, currently unnamed, will have a 7-acre area fenced with a double-gated fence that will allow dog owners to take their pets off leash to play at their leisure in the open space. There also will be shelter areas with benches and tables.
"It does include water for drinking as well as hosing off dirty dogs," Parks and Recreation Director Kim Conrad said.
There are no other off-leash dog parks in Grove City. While dogs are permitted in other parks, owners are required to keep them on leashes.
The project, costing just under $600,000, is being handled by Jess Construction, Inc.
Conrad said officials hope the dog park will be completed in November.
"We're hoping, weather permitting, it'll be done this fall," Conrad said. "It'll be open to the public as soon as construction is complete."
Plans for an off-leash dog park in Grove City have been talked about for about five years, Conrad said, and were included in the 2011 Community Plan.
The city's parks and recreation staff regularly heard requests from residents for one, she added.
"It came from the residents," Conrad said. "It was one of the top five things the community told us they wanted."
The off-leash dog area is phase one of the plan for developing the dog park near Beulah Park. The overall plan for the 22-acre site also includes a playground, community garden, shelter house and fishing area.
Phase two, which Conrad said will entail a good chunk of those other improvements, is expected in 2014. But which amenities will be in phase two has not been decided.
The name of the new park also will be determined fairly soon. Conrad said the parks and recreation department is planning a contest for students to come up with the name sometime within the first few weeks of school.