Commission Slated To Review Old School Square Master Plan

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Staff report

A sculpture garden, splash pad and covered concert grounds are part of the proposal to turn the campus of Old School Square into a park where kids can play and locals can gather.

The city has been working on ways to revamp the nearly 4-acre historic campus with help from residents for the past two years.

After a series of community meetings and workshops, the commission is set to adopt the vision as the master plan, which will likely be implemented in several phases with funding coming from the city, city agencies and individual donations.

The grand total of the enhancements: about $11 million over four phases.

“This is an expression of what the community said it wanted,” architect Bob Currie said while presenting the plans at a recent city meeting.

Currie and the Delray Beach-based firm Currie, Sowards, Aguila Architects have been the consultants on the project.

They have come up with a plan that increases lighting for both safety and decorative reasons, add areas for children to play, provide shady areas for people to gather, update the concession stand and restrooms and improve signage on the grounds to help people get around easier.

“We are standing on probably some of the most valuable real estate in Palm Beach County,” president and CEO of Old School Square Rob Steele said. “It’s really an important part of this community.”

The project will improve the park and help designate a new home for the 100-foot-Christmas tree and GreenMarket. A new look for the pavilion area will keep concertgoers cool and dry if it rains with tiered seating that allows for blankets or set up chairs.

“This is a place I would want to be, want to hang out, want to enjoy,” said CRA chairman Reggie Cox.

The project envisions fountains, a play area for children and new bicycle racks in addition to new garbage bins and benches.

“I think it’s a great plan,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said. “How we phase it and how we pay for it is going to be a challenge. We will address it. This will create a real 21st century urban park.”

It is unclear when the commission will review the master plan.