Devou Events Center Proceeds, Gus Sheehan Park to Get Facelift
The Covington City Commission voted to proceed with design plans for a proposed events center in Devou Park.
The events center would be constructed near the site of the current club house which would be razed.
"If you've been in the Devou Park club house you probably know there needs to be a new golf club house," said Barbara Drees Jones, chair of Devou Properties, Inc., the organization that distributes a portion of profits generated by the Drees Pavilion to Devou Park projects. "Just doing repairs isn't going to help. A new building needs to be built."
A committee was formed to look at options with one task being the evaluation of a new club house. Since a new building needs to be constructed, the committee concluded, it was important to look at what others uses the structure could provide. A park welcome center, a bike shelter, and a cost-effective alternative to the posh Drees Pavilion were all placed on the table.
On Tuesday night, the city commission approved moving forward with a design plan to be created by Covington-based Hub + Weber Architects, though that decision does not commit the city to moving forward with construction. The design would be used to determine feasibility and costs.
This point in the process was reached after several meetings with stakeholders and residents of an adjacent Park Hills street where neighbors expressed concern about noise and crowd impact on their quiet neighborhood.
Following those meetings, a series of tweaks were made to the plans, said Bob Rothert of the Devou Park advisory committee. The number ten tee on the golf course would be relocated farther from Park Hills residences, a wall or vegetative fence would separate the facility from homes, and the site location would be moved fifty feet farther north of residents than originally planned.
The plans also remove a proposed events lawn and significantly reduced parking spaces while removing the need for the construction of a retaining wall. "This foot print is the minimum size we need in order for the (golf) cart storage to happen under the building," Rothert said.
The parking spaces would also be more elevated from where they are currently, said architect Gene Weber. "There's a number of benefits to that," he said. "You won't be looking directly at the parking and it allows you to look at more natural banks and landscaping and helps us deal with drainage. It also brings the grade much closer to the elevation of the new club house."