Changes are coming to Hawthorne Square.
Paul Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale BIA, said signage will be up soon and storyboards will be installed.
“The area where the roadway was had to be transferred. So now Hawthorne Square is in the hands of Parks and Rec.,” explained Orazietti. “So in doing all of that, they have standard park signs they will be putting up in the square.”
The management of the square was officially transferred to Parks and Rec. earlier this month. Funds for redevelopment are already set aside and the square will be redesigned in some capacity by Parks and Rec.
“The project is moving now,” he said. “There’s money sitting in the bank for it, we got $10,000 from the Scriptures.”
Scriptures Productions Inc. donated the money to the Cloverdale BIA after filming “Peacemaker” at various locations in Cloverdale over several months earlier this year. James Monk, the city’s film liaison officer was instrumental in getting the donation.
Orazietti said the project has several components. The first is the new heritage storyboards. The boards have already been designed and will be manufactured soon.
“They’re just like what is outside the museum or the archives,” he explained. “They’ll tell you a bit of the history of the area.”
In total, four storyboards will be created, two for Hawthorne Square, one for the intersection at 56A and 176th, and another one for 176A Street at the King Street parking lot.
He said the second change coming to the square will be centred around lighting. The currently light poles in the square are old and rusting and creating a bit of a hazard. Orazietti said the BIA is looking at replacing the lamp posts.
“We want to get a miniature version of the light poles you see on 176th Street,” he said. “We want to replace the poles with new ones, with poles that match the bigger poles, and also add plumbing and power.”
The plumbing will allow for hanging baskets to adorn the poles in the square and power will offer a much more usable space for vendors and others, such as film crews, when using the square.
“The other element we’re also going to add is permanent furniture,” he said. “Right now we just have temporary furniture in the square.”
Orazietti said he wants to partner with the city to install something a little more substantial that will remain in place, but still be movable.
“The gameplay is that we want it to remain a flexible space. In the event that we have a special event or a movie, we’ll be able to move some of that furniture around in order to use the square in different ways.”
He’s also hopeful the city can help bring some public art to the square.
“Hawthorne Square could potentially be a location for the next high-order public art piece.”
He added there are no plans right now to tear up any of the cement and repour concrete to change the square’s layout.
Once Hawthorne Square gets sorted out, Orazietti will focus his attention next on Robinson Square, which he said needs signage right away, but that redevelopment would have to occur at some point down the road.
Robinson Square is the little square on the east side of 176th Street at 56A Avenue.
“It’s not usable right now, we like the greenery, everyone loves greenery, but the space needs to be more creative.”