Since the early 2000s, Delray Beach has been pursuing a vision for a “Central Park” on the grounds of Old School Square.
First, voters overwhelmingly approved a bond issue to replace an unsightly parking lot with open space and to build a mixed use structured garage that now houses the Arts Garage and Chamber of Commerce.
But while the open space has hosted events, the CRA’s terrific Green Market and free Friday night concerts hosted by Old School Square, it can be so much more.
For the past three years, the community has worked to craft a park master plan. It hasn’t been easy to come up with a design. It’s hard to harness a wide range of ideas and come up with a plan that most can embrace.
But that has been achieved.
The plan has been “adopted” by the City Commission and now it is time to move forward.
The City Commission and CRA should fund the park master plan and complete a vision that is 14 years in the making.
An investment in the Old School Square Park Master Plan will pay lasting dividends strengthening Old School Square, enhancing the downtown and helping to keep Delray Beach on the cutting edge of local cities.
We need this. Badly.
Delray’s narrative in recent years has been marred by dysfunctional politics, turnover at City Hall, litigation, the loss of events and the ravages of heroin and bad sober home operators. It’s also been marred by an inability to get things done: ironic since the city’s brand was once the town that found a way to make things happen.
There’s a major difference between approving a plan and implementing one; between supporting something in concept and funding it.
Approving and supporting something may feel good: implementation and funding gets it done.
It’s time to move forward. And time to celebrate the completion of a long time vision that will be enjoyed by generations to come.