Work has begun on the improvements for Elmwood Park. MB Contractors of Roanoke began construction on Oct. 26th with the project’s timeline as follows: Fall 2012-closure of the park; sitework on the north end begins; fall and winter-sitework on the south end begins; projected date for reopening-August 2013.
The city will focus on changes that will be the most impactful to the park, around $6 million of improvements supported by city investment, including:
• The Magnolia-lined entrance from Franklin Road will be revitalized and interactive fountains will be added.
• Bullitt Avenue will be landscaped and made more functional in handling storm water runoff with rain gardens.
• An Art Walk complimented by new street lights, trees, landscaping and sculpture podiums will provide an opportunity to display diverse artistic works by local and regional artists.
• A new amphitheater stage will be built, designed to the scale of the park and with improvements to enhance both the performer and audience experience.
• Seating arrangements for amphitheater patrons will be enhanced using the natural shape of the park, providing more flexibility with a variety of audiences.
• A concessions plaza will be built to bring food vendors into a central area for easy access during festivals and other activities.
• Interactive water fountains will be included to entertain and create an atmosphere of fun for park.
• A trail connection to Mill Mountain Greenway will be enhanced to draw outdoor enthusiasts into the park as they ride their bicycles or walk the greenway.
• New signage and entrance gateways will be installed, making the park more recognizable and visible to passersby.
• Williamson Road adjacent to the park will be improved for pedestrian access and on-street parking.
• In a related project, the downtown library will be improved to better connect to the park.
The initial plan for improvements was ambitious with more features than city funding permits at this time. However, sponsorships are available for selected additional features which are desired, but not within the limits of current funding for the project. These include the Arbors, Library Terraces, the Picnic Lawn, a Playground, Sculptures for the Art Walk, Franklin Road Entrance Fountains, and Interactive Fountains.
When complete, the park will provide enhancements to better accommodate festivals and activities. And it will restore aspects of the park that invite people to rediscover the relaxing, restful nature of this open space.
To keep citizens informed on the latest news on what is happening with this project, the city will post regular updates on the Elmwood Park Improvement Project website (www.roanokeva.gov/elmwood) and photos on the Elmwood Park Facebook page at