Construction documents for a new city park at 480 Hempstead Road are expected to go out to bid later this month.

Correction: The park planned for 480 Hempstead Road will have a water play area, not a splash pad. Because of a reporter's error, an earlier version of this story said a splash pad was part of the project.

Construction documents for a new city park at 480 Hempstead Road are expected to go out to bid later this month.

Laura Ball, Westerville's parks and recreation development manager, said the parks and recreation department is finalizing construction documents for the project prior to the bidding process. She said officials expect to award a contract in January.

Ball said construction should start in 2020 with the new park expected to be open by next fall.

The city purchased the 7.5-acre property in 2016, Ball said. The site is near McVay Elementary School, 270 Hempstead Road.

Ball said the city's capital-improvements project budget includes $1.2 million to develop the new park. No other figures about costs are available because the project hasn't gone to bid yet, she said.

POD Design LLC, a Columbus landscape-architecture firm, is designing the park, which is expected to include elements using wood, a walking path, a sculpture play area, an area where visitors can interact with the river, a fountain, according to documents from the city of Westerville.

According to the city's website, the plan also includes the preservation of mature trees, a realigned entry drive and bridge, a shelter, restrooms, trail network and a parking lot.

Site design is expected to continue until the end of 2019, according to the documents.

Ball said construction should start this winter with the new park expected to be open by next fall.

Ball said the site of the new park was identified as an area of need when the parks department was completing its Parks Recreation and Open Space planning process.

"It's a beautiful site," she said.

Morris and Dorothy McVay, who originally owned the property, were local business owners in Westerville.

According to the city's website, the park will be designed to "pay homage to the McVay family ... who were deeply philanthropic and loved nature."

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