Sasso family donates $1 million to Warsaw parks project

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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WARSAW, Ind. (WNDU) - The city of Warsaw is upgrading the Center Lake Recreation Trail and the Center Lake Pavilion.

These projects would not be possible without the community’s generosity, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy the waterfront in Warsaw for many years to come.

“This is a trail that we’ve received a million-dollar donation from the Sasso Family,” said Larry Plummer, Superintendent for Warsaw’s Department of Parks and Recreation. “The Sasso Family grew up in this area and have been involved with the community for many, many years, and it’s through the health fund from the K1 Foundation.”

Since 1999, the K21 Health Foundation has approved over $50 million in funds for community investments and needs.

The hope is that the million-dollar donation will cover the entire cost of the trail, and another “generous” donor committed to $2.5 million toward the estimated $3.1 million Center Lake Pavilion rehabilitation project.

“One of the things that we looked at when we proposed this project is connectivity to the downtown, connectivity to all the activities along the way of the trail. That’s one of the things, and the quality of life that it brings to our community,” said Plummer.

The quarter-mile updated Recreation trial will connect the newly renovated Nye Park with the DNR boat ramp, with the Center Lake Pavilion serving as a midway point.

“That was one of the things in our 5-year master plan that was a high priority in our surveys was to bring that connectivity to our parks and allow a lot of activities on the water.”

The trial will be a 10-feet-wide lighted path that is ADA accessible and will allow residents and visitors access to swimming, fishing, kayaking, tennis, pickleball, the pavilion, a splash pad, and so much more.

“I think, you know, in our community, we have two beautiful lakes that our parks system is set on, and when you have that kind of natural beauty and entertainment, you’ve got to take advantage of it. I think that’s what the community has called for, and I think that’s what we’re going to produce.”

Renovation of the Pavilion is scheduled to begin in September of this year, and the Parks Department believes it will be completed in about eight months, or early next summer.

The inside and outside of the building will be updated, opening up the facility and giving better views of the lake and trail while also giving the option to use it as two smaller rooms or one large room for sizeable gatherings.

Plummer added that the pavilion has “been a mainstay in our community, I mean it really has over the years. I’ve been around for like 44 years around here, and I’ve seen everything happen in that building. Whether it’s craft shows, weddings, family reunions, political events, or anything else, it’s a building that’s really served our community over the years, and we really think that these new improvements will just continue to do that for many more years.”

As for the Recreation Trail, construction will begin in the Spring of next year and finish by fall.

Stay with 16 News Now as well track the progress of these community investment projects.

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