NORTH RIDGEVILLE — A walking-biking trail that will wind through South Central Park and continue across Bainbridge Road to an area near St. Peter’s Church off Center Ridge Road will become a reality next month.
That’s when construction is set to begin on the 10-foot-wide, 1.2-mile paved trail that originated several years ago as the dream of a pair of local Girl Scouts who held fundraisers to raise about $10,000 toward the trail.
Budgeted at $273,000, the project will be constructed by Chagrin Valley Paving Inc., which was awarded the job from among 12 firms that submitted bids, according to Kevin Fougerousse, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
The trail was slated to get underway last fall, but officials opted to delay the work to avoid bad winter weather, which turned out to be a good move given the severity of the past winter, Fougerousse said.
“We were looking at a two-month window to get it done and decided not to try and rush it,” Fougerousse said.
The trail is expected to be completed with a 30-day timetable.
The project has to be completed by June 30 to meet criteria for a $150,000 Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant. Another $125,000 will be kicked in from the city’s Park and Recreation Improvement Fund, and $5,000 was donated by the Friends of the Parks.
The $10,000 was raised by Morgan Rogers and Caitlyn Tipple, North Ridgeville Girl Scouts who began their campaign for the trail when they were in high school.
Morgan’s mother, Nada Rogers, contributed to the $10,000 with funds generated by a local version of the popular “Biggest Loser” TV weight-loss challenge.
The new trail will allow walkers, joggers or riders to exercise on a loop measuring about three-quarters of a mile through wooded areas and around the park’s two fishing lakes, or to take a two-mile jaunt across Bainbridge Road near Ranger Stadium, behind the middle school and onto a spot near St. Peter Church.
The trail will cross Bainbridge Road on an elevated section that will be marked, according to Fougerousse.
The park also will sport remodeled restrooms this summer near the popular summertime Splash Pad, which reopens May 24.
The $90,000 renovation project was performed by Apex Construction and Management, a Bedford company.
Paid for a federal Community Development Block Grant and parks and recreation funds, the project refurbished the wornen’s bathrooms that were built more than 20 years ago when the city allowed swimming in South Central’s main lake, according to Fougerousse.
“The difference is like night and day,” Fougerousse said Monday.
The new facilities increase capacity from two urinals and toilets in the men’s restroom to four toilets and three urinals. The women’s restroom will go from four to six cubicles.
All facilities will be American Disabilities Act-compliant with wider stall doors, grab bars and wider entrance doors into the restrooms that will let people enter from the splash pad or the side near the fishing lake.
“This way children can go directly in from the Splash Pad instead of having to walk around the building where they would be out of sight,” Fougerousse said.
A survey of more than 600 North Ridgeville residents in 2013 used to develop a 10-year master plan found walking-biking trails, more athletic fields, a swimming pool and community recreation complex among the most-requested projects.