$6M plan announced to improve Centennial Park - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

$6M plan announced to improve Centennial Park

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Great strides have been taken in recent years to make Nashville seem more hip, more edgy, more green and more architecturally savvy.

Now, it looks like Centennial Park is next in line for a makeover.

Mayor Karl Dean was joined by the director of Metro Parks on Thursday morning to outline $6 million in improvements to Centennial Park. It's a private/public partnership, so $1 million of that price tag was raised through private funds.

City officials said the plan will be executed in six phases and be completed by May 2015.

"Centennial Park has been the gem of our park system," said Metro Parks Director Tommy Lynch.

Tourists come for the Parthenon, and the locals take a walk, feed the ducks or strum their guitars.

"You can come here on a Saturday afternoon for an event or just to enjoy some time outdoors, and you will see a diverse - a very diverse - make up of people that represent our entire city," Dean said.

Over the next 18 months, big changes are coming, including better parking, a deeper and cleaner Lake Watauga and a more permanent home for the increasingly popular Musicians Corner.

"It will be getting a permanent home in that corner of the park where it exists now. It will still have the organic, Nashville's best-lawn-party feel, but it will have a permanent stage," said Conservancy President Sylvia Rapoport.

And the project will unveil perhaps the park's best feature: a natural spring that has been buried underground for 100 years.

"An incredibly important moment, culturally and historically, for the city. To bring that water back to life is really a symbol for the renaissance of this park," said Project Designer Thomas Woltz.

The master plan includes several more phases, but specifics about those upgrades have not been released.

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