By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – Former Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand won’t be forgotten as the next phase of an ambitious recreation project he launched will keep his memory alive at the Sheridan Center Open Air Pavilion.
City officials Aug. 25 approved funding for the Pavilion’s next phase and dedication of a relocated splash pad in honor of Lamarand, who passed away in October 2014.
“Jeff started this process so it makes plenty of sense to dedicate it to him,” Mayor Rick Sollars said. “It was his vision and we’ve continued to run with it.”
Lamarand served as mayor from 2009 to 2013 after having first joined City Council in 2013. His surviving wife, Mishelle, and children, Jillian and Nash, were on hand to support and approval the project’s next phase.
The splash pad – expected to be open next summer – will join the installation of a new playscape next to the pavilion and the pad itself will be customized as a baseball diamond, a salute to the Heritage Park tradition of baseball and as host to the Junior League World Series.
The first phase of the project was completed in June 2014 with the renovation of the former recreation center and hockey rink as an open-air pavilion. The facility debuted this year as host to the Taylor Farmer’s Market and summer concerts, and the in-progress phase two will include the splash pad and playscape, and completion of an inline skating rink on an asphalt pad behind the Sheridan Center.
Funding for the approximately $350,000 phase two will be through the Taylor Building Authority, with $25,000 for the playscape coming from a Wayne County grant. Funds that had been approved for the building authority must be dedicated to public facilities.
“When we are done with this it should be a very nice fit to Heritage Park,” Lamarand said. “I think our residents will be really impressed.”
(James Mitchell can be reached at email@example.com.)