A project to create a Centennial Plaza as part of an entryway to Northam Park is moving forward as are repairs to hairline cracks in the promenade in a nearby parking lot.
As part of Upper Arlington's centennial celebration this year, various groups in the community have commissioned "legacy projects" to mark the city's 100th birthday.
The city's Centennial Task Force is among those groups; its legacy project includes the construction of a History Walk along the main pedestrian walkway into Northam Park from Tremont Road. A series of 10 markers, accented by shade trees and flowers, now are being installed that will provide informational snapshots of the community's first 100 years.
The project will feature three bronze bear sculptures that are the work of artist Alan Hamwi, who grew up in Upper Arlington. They, along with seating and a trellis, will be situated by a drop-off area for Tremont Pool and the park.
Last week, subcontractors working for Thomas & Marker Construction were laying the foundation for components of the Centennial Plaza project. It's expected to be showcased during a July 4 ceremony.
"Construction is going on right now, and we are on the countdown of unveiling this project at the July Fourth celebrations," said Emma Speight, Upper Arlington's community affairs director. "So hopefully, you'll be there Wednesday, July 4 at 7 p.m.
"It's a project we're all excited about. I think it will be a lasting legacy for Upper Arlington community members to enjoy for many years to come."
The total price tag for the project, Speight said, stands "at a little over $400,000."
That includes installation costs and the artist's fees. To date, more than $260,000 has been raised through private donations from individuals and groups such as the Upper Arlington Rotary Club, the Upper Arlington Community Foundation, the Upper Arlington Civic Association and the Northwest Kiwanis Club.
Speight said private fundraising for the project continues.
In addition, Upper Arlington City Council has committed to providing up to $100,000 for the project.
While that work is taking place, the city also is taking another look at the promenade that essentially runs the length of the nearby parking lot from Tremont Elementary to Upper Arlington Public Library's Main Branch.
The $75,000 promenade was installed in 2014 while an approximately $1.4 million reconstruction was done to the parking lot that serves the school, library and Northam Park.
Shortly after the promenade was put in, "hairline" cracking occurred on sections of it, said Alan McKnight, the city's special projects manager.
McKnight said some residents have expressed concerns about the cracks, so the city decided to spend about $45,000 to repair the promenade while the Centennial Plaza work is being completed.
"We are addressing the cracking as we're doing this other work," McKnight said. "(The cracks) were certainly not a structural issue at all.
"As we did this (Centennial Plaza) project, we thought we'd take care of those cracks as part of the overall project."
McKnight said both projects are moving forward.
"They're on schedule," he said. "The city is moving toward a major ribbon-cutting on the Fourth of July."