FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — At Tuesday’s Fort Wayne City Council meeting, councilmembers voted to introduce a proposal that would grant Franke Park up to $22.8 million for Phase 1 of the Franke Park Renaissance Project.

Additional funding would also come from $2 million worth of ARPA funds if the proposal makes it through Fort Wayne City Council.

Steve McDaniel, director of Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, said some of the upgrades would include a new entrance off Goshen Road, new trails and a new grand pavilion on the west side of the park.

“Ultimately, we’re looking for a better park and a better experience,” McDaniel said.

Phase 1 of the project is part of the Franke Park Master Plan that looks to incorporate four “guiding principles” throughout construction:

– balance ecology, recreation and the build environment

– promote and support a variety of activities and uses that encourage active and passive recreation

– celebrate and preserve the cultural history of Franke Park and the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

– ensure creative, sustainable, authentic and high-quality design and development

If the funding is approved by City Council, McDaniel said construction will start in late spring and will take 14 to 16 months to complete, and McDaniel hopes it will lead to more projects in the future.

“As we look at the future that we’re providing and the atmosphere for that, and that means not just Phase 1, but Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4, it’s one of those things you can’t do it all at once,” McDaniel said.

Even though the proposal received a vote for introduction, Fort Wayne City Council still needs to vote for discussion and for final passage of the proposal at future meetings.