Goshen eyes redesign of town center 

Staff Writer
Published: 7/18/2022 5:26:44 PM
Modified: 7/18/2022 5:26:20 PM

GOSHEN — On Wednesday, the Open Space Committee will hold a forum on reimagining the center of town, including the presentation of a proposed design that would, among other elements, overhaul the park across from the Town Offices and eliminate the town tennis court.

“We’ve been thinking about the town center for quite a while as an Open Space Committee,” said Pat Morey, a committee member.

The forum will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Town Hall. COVID-19 protocols will be in place, with masks available and masking and social distancing encouraged. There will also be a lap quilt door prize, water and snacks, and the committee will be talking about future fundraising and maintenance in addition to the open space redesign.

Morey said that when the committee conducted a survey to redo the town’s Open Space and Recreation Plan in 2021, a number of people expressed a desire for a more beautified downtown with a congregation space.

“There really isn’t anything in the center of town,” Morey said.

She also said that Healthy Hampshire’s survey on walkability dealt with the town center, and that the Conway School did a survey for the town’s Complete Streets grant to come up with redesigns for town center.

Among the committees that the Open Space Committee has engaged with, Morey said, there has been an interest in redesigning the center’s open space.

“Now we want to open it up to the residents,” Morey said.

Morey said there is a proposed plan, but the committee is open to feedback and other ideas. She also said the committee is looking for a mandate to continue with the redesign.

The draft plan that will be presented at the forum will be from Nicholas Dines, a Williamsburg landscape architect and former University of Massachusetts professor who is doiung the work pro bono.

Dines’ plan would redesign the park across from the town offices with more plantings and the addition of picnic areas, new benches and walkways. It also proposes doing away with the town’s tennis court and replacing it with a grassy area.

“The tennis court is in really miserable shape,” said Morey. She said she doesn’t think anyone is using it at this time as a tennis court.

A final element would be redesigning the park’s parking lot with designated spaces.

“We’ll be presenting on these three different areas,” said Lorraine Brisson, chairwoman of the committee.

“The most important thing is getting the support of the residents,” Brisson said.

Morey said if the committee feels it has a mandate to go forward, it will apply for grants to fund the design it settles on. She also said the committee may apply for Community Preservation Act money to supplement grants as well.

Town Meeting approval would also be required for any plan before implementation.

Brission said a redesign would take two to three years to be completed.

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