May 24, 2022

Essex’s Downtown Enhancement Project Is Well on Its Way to Completion

The Town of Essex’s, downtown enhancement project is taking major strides towards completion. For the record the formal name for the project is, “The Essex Civic Campus Enhancement Project.”

There are three distinct parts of the enhancement project. They are: 1) a major resurfacing of the Town Hall parking lot, 2) a total rebuilding and reformation of the tennis courts, next to the parking lot, and 3) an extensive reconfiguration of the playground with new play equipment,  next to the tennis courts. The fancy new name for the playground is a “Playscape.”

The New Town Hall Parking Lot

The parking lot, which abuts the rear entrance of Town Hall, will receive a final, top coat of asphalt on Friday, November 8, or Saturday, November 9, depending on the weather. After the final coat of asphalt has been put in place, the parking lot will be re-lined for general parking and for handicap parking.

The New Tennis Courts

The new tennis courts, located behind the town parking lot, are still a work in progress.  Presently, new subsurface materials are being brought in, and being compacted and graded. Also, a new drainage system is being installed, and a new asphalt surface will be put in place as a final step. In addition, the new tennis courts will have brand new fencing.

The cleared and packed site, awaiting the new tennis courts

The cleared and packed site, awaiting the new tennis courts

To conform to the accepted installation practices, new tennis courts should not be painted after October 1. Therefore, the expected date, as to when new courts will be ready for play, will not be until late April, or even early May, of 2014.

The New Playscape (Playground)

A certified installer of the Landscape Structures product line has been retained, and under its direction site preparation and the installation of the borders of the new playground has begun.  When complete, the new playground will have: 1) a new, two to five year old, play section, and 2) a new, five to twelve year old play section.

Excavating a new drainage pipe on the new playground

Excavating a new drainage pipe on the new playground

Also, the finished playground will feature a crawl tunnel, a balancing beam, a climbing boulder, a Supernova spinner and a springing up and down, and back and forth, riding structure. Active work on the playground is presently underway, and the playground should be completed by the end of November, or early December.

Assembled site materials for the new playground

Assembled site materials for the new playground

All of the estimates of work completion noted above are dependent on weather conditions and any necessary changes that the work requires.

The total dollar amount of the STEEP grant to the Town of Essex for these improvements is $471,500.