Groundbreaking Held for Scheid Park Improvements

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Groundbreaking was held Monday for improvements at Scheid Park including updating accessibility to the existing youth ball fields and construction of a new restroom/concessions building. More than two dozen community members attended the groundbreaking.

“This has been a need for many years,” said Tony Koster, Saranac Village’s Department of Public Works director. “The Youth League will now have a proper concessions area and the ADA access to the building. and all the fields will be a huge improvement. This will also allow us to have restrooms open all year.”

A new restroom facility was the No. 1 priority users identified in the Village’s Parks & Recreation Master Plan. The current facility, built in 1984, has two restrooms with two stalls each. Village staff were unable to open the restroom this year, due to the extent of repairs it would take to make it usable.

Additional improvements to Saranac’s 15.6-acre neighborhood park, which is located along the Fred Meijer

Grand River Valley Rail Trail, will include redevelopment of the parking lot area and space between the ballfields, providing a gathering space that is ADA compliant. The repaved portions of the two parking lots will include new pavement markings, and ADA parking and access. Storm, sanitary, force main, water, and a new grinder pump will be installed, as well as landscape plantings (deciduous trees and planter pots).

“Scheid Park serves as the focal point for activity in the Village, and providing facilities with universal access to recreational resources, is crucial,” said Becky Straubel, Saranac Village’s treasurer.

The Village of Saranac received a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund program to pay for a portion of the project.

“An improvement project like this would not be attainable without grant assistance, and the MDNR has come through for the Village of Saranac on several park projects,” Straubel added.

Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) of Grand Rapids provided grant assistance, design, engineer estimates, construction documentation, bidding, and construction administration for the improvement project.

“Scheid Park will become more of a destination for the community with the improvements and enhance the baseball experience for players and spectators,” said Andrew Filler, F&V’s project manager. “The new bathroom facilities will also provide a safe and clean space for all users of the park to enjoy.”

The Scheid Park Improvements Project will be completed in the spring of 2024.

“On any given day, Scheid Park is a flurry of activity,” Straubel added. “Whether it’s ballplayers playing and working hard for a win, spectators cheering them on, family/friends celebrating life events at one of the pavilions, children and adults testing their skills at the skatepark or basketball court, parents watching their young children enjoy the playground equipment, or pedestrians/bikers utilizing the paved path that leads to the Fred Meijer Grand River Valley Rail Trail.”

The Village Council and Village staff will continue to work diligently, alongside Fleis & VandenBrink, to ensure that Scheid Park remains a viable, safe, up-to-date space for many years to come, Straubel said.