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Evansville Water officials share update on Trinity Park Project

Evansville Water officials share update on Trinity Park Project
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 7:28 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2020 at 7:29 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Construction is underway at the site of the old Holy Trinity Church in downtown Evansville. This is the new site for a project by Evansville Water and Sewer Utility on the corner of 3rd Street and Vine Street.

“Currently, we have over 300-million gallons of sewage that dumps out as overflow, in a typical year, out into the Ohio River from the downtown area," Mike Labitzke with Evansville Water and Sewer Utility said.

Officials say the goal of this project is to redirect 40 million of those gallons into the new Trinity Storm Water Park Project. They say the plan is to house a 2.3 million gallon infiltration basin, which will store and slowly release the storm water back into the ground, instead of the Ohio River.

Water officials say the first phase of the project involves tearing down the building on the former Holy Trinity Church property, which the city of Evansville purchased for just over $400,000.

[Previous: Holy Trinity Church to be demolished]

According to officials, they will keep several features and materials from the church for later use in the urban park.

“We wanted to preserve the history of this church," Project Manager Matt Montgomery said. "So we’ve taken some steps to salvage and reclaim some of those materials of this church to incorporate back into that project.”

Crews plans to use limestone, granite and even the church’s stain glass windows in the new park design.

The second phase of the project involves storm sever construction and storage facilities below ground to collect storm water runoff, as well as promote infiltration into the sand and gravel layers below grade at the church site.

According to the press release, the third phase will involve developing the water park at the church site, while using many of the existing church building materials that will be retained during the demolition phase.

Officials say the existing materials will be used to make walking paths, seating areas, as well as other features.

Park development is expected to be privately funded through the fundraising help of the University of Evansville’s ChangeLab.

“This only works," Erin Lewis with the University of Evansville said, "if we have municipal workers at Evansville Water and Sewer Utilities who are willing to come and say, ‘I have to build these giants tanks, what do I put back on top of it? How can we use young people to collaborate and design something that leaves it better than how we found it?’”

According to city officials, Evansville Water and Sewer Utility currently has more than a dozen working projects, but they say the Trinity Storm Water Park Project is the largest.

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