Erie’s Perry Square gets portable toilets, water fountain, other upgrades

Downtown Erie — and Perry Sq. in particular — is a everyday decompression spot for Robert King.

The 64-yr-old retired servicing worker can generally be found on a bench in East Perry Square, in the vicinity of the park’s fountain.

He is often there before 11 a.m. 

Often, King is chatting with other park regulars. 

On other occasions, he prefers to be by yourself, quiet and unbothered.

“You can get peace of thoughts listed here, sit down and love by yourself,” mentioned King, who lives nearby at Methodist Towers in the 100 block of West Eighth Street. “The older technology, a whole lot of us do not have a ton to do but occur down to Perry Sq..

“Nobody bothers you. It’s quiet.”

Perry Square is shown on July 15. State Street bisects the east side, left, and west side of the popular park.

King has also taken recognize of just one of East Perry Square’s most latest additions: two portable restrooms around the fountain that are open up to the public day by day.

“Man, it was about time. We’ve required bogs down in this article for a long time,” King claimed. “I’m not trying to be unfavorable but this park even now demands a great deal of items. Downtown nonetheless needs a ton of things, like far more outlets and more for folks to do. But I do see Perry Sq. is a large amount much better than it utilised to be.”

That is the variety of reaction officers at the Erie Downtown Partnership are hoping for as the nonprofit and its companions shift ahead with a range of enhancements on both of those the east and west sides of the downtown park, which was initially christened Perry Sq. in 1846.

A new drinking fountain was installed in Perry Square a few weeks ago. It is one of several improvements to the east and west sides of the downtown park.

The updates include the portable toilets in East Perry Sq., a new public ingesting fountain positioned in West Perry Square close to the park’s multipurpose stage and attractive string lights that illuminate the West Perry Square phase area with an ambient glow at evening.

The portable bogs and string lights were being put in location in early July. The consuming fountain was installed about two weeks in the past.

Strategies simply call for 5 to seven substantial, thermoplastic-coated picnic tables to be installed in West Perry Square ahead of the Erie Downtown Improvement Corp.’s nearby Flagship City Food stuff Hall opens this fall. 

The tables will provide outdoor dining room and further seating to these who go to the park or food corridor, and they will be geared up with removable umbrellas to protect people from the sun and rain. Just about every table also attributes an overhang that tends to make them easy for men and women in wheelchairs to use. 

The Downtown Partnership is also doing work with the metropolis of Erie to install electrical updates on the two sides of the park, to supply additional ability for foodstuff vans, distributors, and various amusement gatherings at the park, such as little concert events.

There is no unique timetable for the electrical function.

The improvements are “part of our ongoing hard work to activate and make improvements to public spaces in downtown and make downtown extra harmless, entertaining and welcoming,” mentioned John Buchna, the Erie Downtown Partnership’s government director.

John Buchna, CEO of the Erie Downtown Partnership.

Who’s having to pay for it?

Buchna said the enhancements “and related programming will charge in excess of $200,000. He described that Perry Square is now hosting numerous frequent functions, which include a Sunday farmer’s industry outside film nights polka dances yoga courses lectures tale time for kids, and others. 

The Downtown Partnership is doing work with a number of groups on the advancements which includes the city of Erie the Erie Group Basis Perry Square Alliance Erie Insurance coverage ErieBank Marquette Financial savings Bank, and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority. 

A lot of of them have delivered funding for the enhancements. 

“This is not just to guidance companies and persons who use the park, but the occasions we do down listed here as perfectly,” Buchna said. 

Families visit the fountain in east Perry Square on July 15. As part of an improvement plan, a drinking fountain, stylish lighting and portable restrooms have been installed at the park. More tables and seating are coming, and a warming/cooling shelter and a hand-washing station are also being considered.

Perry Sq. is an apparent focal issue, Buchna reported, mainly because the park is at the heart of the Downtown Partnership’s long-variety advancement tactic for downtown Erie. 

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The advancements also construct on the $3.5 million previously invested in Perry Sq. by the metropolis of Erie and others. 

That perform, which was completed in 2016, was the most sizeable at Perry Square in a long time. It integrated eradicating the park’s previous gazebo and constructing the West Perry Sq. multipurpose amusement stage in the vicinity of Point out Street rehabilitating the East Perry Square fountain — which dates to 1929 — with up-to-date LED lights and new devices that allows for diverse water shows new landscaping, and switching sidewalk configurations on each sides of the park to build extra open room.

A blend of state grants, federal Local community Progress Block Grant dollars and a lot more than $600,000 in private donations funded the park updates that had been finished in 2016. 

“There has been just about a generation of disinvestment downtown,” Buchna stated. “Now you’re viewing a great deal of expense, with the guarantee of a lot more to occur. Those are symptoms of a good, balanced local community.”

Mayor Joe Schember added: “I consider the much more we make the park obtainable and uncomplicated to use, the much better it is for anyone who takes advantage of the park. That includes the homeless and vulnerable people that we know use Perry Square, as well as any one else who frequents the place.”

Six-year-old cousins Shaniah Neal, left, and Gionni Jordan play near the east Perry Square fountain on July 15.

John Persinger, the EDDC’s chief government, appreciates all those endeavours. 

The EDDC’s 8,000-sq.-foot Flagship Town General public Current market alongside North Park Row could open up as before long as this coming fall, and is across the road from Perry Sq..

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