The Bexley Recreation and Parks Department will begin accepting bids this month to develop athletic fields in the Ferndale Place/Mayfield Place neighborhood in southwest Bexley.

The department will publicly advertise for bids on April 13 and 20 and open bids on May 3 for the development of the area that is now known as the Schneider Park athletic fields, Recreation Director Michael Price said.

After opening the bids, "hopefully, we'll have a contractor in place and start the project in the next couple of months," Price reported at the April 5 meeting of the Recreation Board at Bexley City Hall.

The fields are being developed with an $81,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, an $81,000 grant from the Bexley Community Foundation and $100,000 allotted by Bexley City Council.

Developing the fields will include importing soil to mitigate environmental issues because the location is the site of a former landfill, Price said. The city is exploring two options for that: adding 2 feet of soil over the existing soil or adding a foam liner and 1 feet of soil, he said.

"The only downside of putting down 2 feet of soil is it ... affects the edges (of the athletic fields) and how much actual space we have," Price said.

The project is part of a comprehensive effort on the part of the city to revitalize the Ferndale/Mayfield area.

A committee is working to update the 2003 Southwest Bexley Master Plan, which also includes matters of revitalizing that area.

Its next public meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 18 at Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St.

For more information, visit bexley.org.

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