Two new landmarks in Old Hilliard are getting closer to construction.
The Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission on March 13 approved conditional-use permits and architectural changes required for the construction of Hilliard's Station Park and the Hilliard Civic and Cultural Arts Center.
Bids for the Station Park project were opened March 13 and the apparent low bidder is Robertson Construction, at $4.6 million, a figure slightly higher than the Franklin County Engineer's Office's estimates of $4.3 million.
The contractor must meet some final qualifications before the legislative process to award the bid begins, Service Director Butch Seidle said.
Hilliard's Station Park is scheduled to be built this year at the corner of Main and Center streets, across the street from First Responders Park.
The park will include interactive fountains, outdoor seating, a fireplace, shade sails, sculptures and bike racks, said City Planner John Talentino.
Commission members also made the necessary approvals needed to advance the first phase of improvements for the Hilliard Civic and Cultural Arts Center at Center and Franklin streets.
A 7,000-square-foot building at the site will be renovated, which will include the construction of a 2,900-square-foot addition.
The Hilliard Arts Council, American Legion Memorial Post 614 and the Hilliard Community Assistance Council will share the facility and each will contribute to its construction, operation and maintenance.
Norwich Township has contributed $200,000 to the arts center and Hilliard officials earmarked $70,000 in the 2014 capital-improvements budget. The city has also spent about $50,000 for remedial improvements at the site.
The initial phase of improvements to be completed this year total about $475,000, according to Bob Apel, a member of the Hilliard Community Foundation. The total cost of all planned improvements is about $4 million.
"It will be a tremendous asset," said Recreation and Parks Director Steve Mazer.
In other action at the March 13 meeting, planning and zoning commission members voted 6-0 to approve a modification to a development plan allowing for the construction of a 90-unit assisted-living facility on 6.3 acres at 4525 Trueman Blvd.
The facility will be developed by Spectrum Retirement Communities.