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CSU students study issues at Mini Park PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

The weather was a bit on the chilly side, but four Colorado State University civil engineering students spent a couple hours in Holyoke Sunday, Feb. 12 looking at the mini park located at the intersection of Denver Street and Interocean Avenue. Snow shovels had to be used in areas but it didn’t keep the students from completing the task at hand.

There has been a growing concern with the safety at the park. Settling ground is believed to be the factor of sinking sidewalks, a cracking gazebo foundation and a cracking wall.

This large crack is located in the brick wall at the Holyoke Mini Park. The cracking wall is one of many issues the park has seen. The foundation of the gazebo is badly cracked and broken areas of the concrete and sidewalk have sunken noticeably.  —Enterprise photo

A committee was formed to look into possible fixes. The committee came up with the idea to utilize engineering students to get the ball rolling on the project.

The students took notes and photographs which they will use to build an assessment which they will present to the council. They will offer suggestions and possible costs, among other information.

The students have been given a March 1 deadline to finish their assessment. Committee member Linda Langelo said the students have delivered on everything so far and expects the same for the final assessment.

Jenny Dattolo, at left, measures how far a piece of concrete has settled while Kristy
Wilson snaps a photograph of it.  —Enterprise photo

Chip Scheunemann welcomed the students into his building, which sits just to the south of the park, so they could check to see if any damage has been done inside that structure. The wall that has been cracking and bowing at the park isn’t part of Scheunemann’s building but is built right up against it. The students also took a look in the basement of the department store.

Holyoke City Council members Kevin Scott, Scott Murray and mayor Orville Tonsing, with the assistance of Scheunemann and Lions Club member Larry Stein, helped the students understand a bit of history of the location. It is believed the remains from the building that burned down on the location nearly 34 years ago were buried in the basement and those contents have begun to settle, causing the issues on the surface.

CSU students Corey Wallace and Andrew Moss take some notes Sunday morning while
Holyoke City Council member Scott Murray looks on.  —Enterprise photo

The building which had housed Ralph’s Bar as well as Phillips County State Bank burned down Feb. 15, 1978. The Lions Club purchased the space in 1981 and the current mini park was dedicated Nov. 20, 1983.

Holyoke Lions Club members are in the process of planning a pancake feed to help get fund raising started. The tentative plan is to have the feed sometime in March, according to Stein. A committee has also been formed to oversee the project and help with fund raising efforts.

The committee includes Mary Tomky, Langelo, Penny Dockins and City Council members Scott and Murray. Mayor Tonsing was also at the mini park Sunday to welcome the students.

Holyoke Enterprise February 16, 2012