The Village of Gambier recently completed a series of improvements to the small seating area between the Village Market and the Gambier Post Office known as the “Post Office Park.” The project, which began construction in April, includes additional seating, new plants, decorative river stones to replace wood mulch and cleanup of the original stone tiling.
These restorations came at a convenient time: With the expanded hours of the Market, along with Peirce Express and a student-run bar set to open across the street later this fall, the area will likely experience increased foot traffic and students seeking places to stop and eat.
“We’re hopeful the park can serve as a relaxing spot for eating and coming together and generally improve the communal nature of Gambier,” Mayor Leeman Kessler ’04 wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Although the idea to spruce up the small park had been discussed by the Gambier Village Council before, Village Councilwoman Kaitlin Sockman took the initiative to submit a concrete proposal to the Buildings and Grounds Committee in the spring. The Committee approved the proposal and directed Sockman to the Knox County Foundation’s Strategic Plan fund. Working with a local contractor, Sockman detailed the design for the space and prices of each requested purchase in another proposal, which the Strategic Plan steering committee approved and granted $15,000 in funds.
Work on the project began on 43022 Day, an April 30 celebration recognizing the once-in-a-century coincidence of the date with Gambier’s zip code. Village Council President Morgan Giles planted a tree in the park to honor the project’s launch. The improvements to the park took a few months to complete, and additional funding from both the Village Council and the steering committee was granted when costs surpassed the original $15,000 budget.
Kessler is optimistic about the future of the small park. “Already we’re seeing more people make use of the Post Office Park and seating, which was our hope all along,” he said.