Grandview Heights may tweak the design for a planned second phase of improvements at Memorial Park to help keep costs down.
A revised design was presented Oct. 12 to the city's parks advisory board for review.
Some elements of the original design presented last spring have been removed, including the installation of brick entryways at the three corners of the park, located on Northwest Boulevard at Oxley Road.
The revised design also uses less-expensive concrete rather than pavers for the plaza area and reduces the height and scope of the walled seating area that would be placed near the fountain and statue.
A preliminary estimate prepared by EMH&T places the construction cost for the revised plan at about $378,000, a decrease of between $100,000 and $150,000 from the original design proposal.
"We wanted to go to the board for some suggestions," Parks and Recreation Director Mike Patterson said. "We only have so much money to work with without having to seek additional funding."
The biggest portion of the cost would be taken up by a planned five-jet fountain to be placed behind the World War II soldier statue, facing Northwest Boulevard.
EMH&T estimates the cost of the fountain and associated utilities would be $159,826.
"That doesn't include the ongoing cost we would have to operate and maintain a fountain," Patterson said.
The statue was installed in 2015 with funds provided by Grandview resident Dr. Tom Williams and his wife, the late Dr. Lowell Williams.
Tom Williams has offered an additional donation to help fund more upgrades at the park.
However, his second donation would not cover the projected $378,000 cost of the revised design for park enhancements, Patterson said.
"It's important to (Dr. Williams) that the (additions) make a statement," Mayor Ray DeGraw said.
The addition of the statue and other improvements are designed to help Memorial Park become a more meaningful space to pay tribute to local residents who gave their lives in service to the country, not just a park that motorists drive by without recognizing its significance, he said.
Residents can support Memorial Park -- home of the city's annual Memorial Day service -- by purchasing a brick paver for $50 to honor active or former military members who have lived or worked in the Tri-Village area. The pavers will be placed in the area near the statue.
"It's not a big money-maker," Patterson said.
The planned additions to Memorial Park could be completed in phases.
That would be difficult to do, DeGraw said, and actually would add to the cost of the project, although it would offer more time to work out the funding.
Parks board member Eric Walli asked if the city could replace the fountain concept with an LED light fixture, similar to one installed at the James Monroe Park in Washington, D.C.
The lights shine upward to simulate a fountain, changing colors at night, Walli said.
"Electricity would be easier" and less expensive to install and maintain than plumbing, he said.
One potential advantage in replacing the fountain with a light fixture is that the cost savings would allow the plaza to be built using pavers.
"Pavers are just more aesthetically pleasing than just laying down concrete all around," Patterson said.
"We want to do a quality project and not cut corners at the cost of quality," he said. "It's important to Dr. Williams to make this park not only something that attracts attention as people drive by it, but also something that draws them in to visit and reflect on the sacrifice our soldiers have made."
The city will consult further with Williams about potential revisions to the design, including whether eliminating the fountain would be a viable option to him, Patterson said.
The parks board will continue its discussion about Memorial Park at its next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in council chambers.
DeGraw said a final decision on the design of the Memorial Park improvements would not have to be made until spring.
Work could begin at that time and be completed by the end of fall 2018, with a dedication of the second phase of park improvements planned for Memorial Day weekend 2019, he said.