Tattnall Square Park, that charming square of grass, trees and tennis courts across from Mercer’s Campus is an opportune place for such lounging. However, there are plans in process for making it even nicer and more accessible to surrounding Macon and Mercer community.
On June 3, 2011, an announcement was made that the College Hill Alliance had received a $1 million grant as a part of the Georgia Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant Program.
A combination of the contributions between the city of Macon; Mayor Robert Reichert; Transportation Board member, Jim Cole; Mercer University and President William Underwood; the College Hill Alliance and executive director, Pat Madison, made this grant possible.
The upcoming improvements, which are a small portion of the Corridor’s Master Plan, includes eventual renovations of the entire park and square and will encompass the eastern portion of the square on College Street from Coleman to Oglethorpe.
The grant had specifications that required a need for improvements in pedestrian safety, which is a pertinent issue for the Alexander II area.
The plans include making the area more pedestrian- friendly by adding sidewalks, three raised crosswalks, new parallel parking on both sides of the street and a specified bike lane. As well as these utilitarian measures, the plans are meant to beautify and renovate the space, making it a more alluring and enjoyable space.
In regards to the impact of the project on the community, Nadia Osman, Director of Communications and Outreach for the College Hill Alliance is very optimistic. “Anything that we can do to make it a little safer, make it look a little better, restore it as just the gem of this area. I think it just encourages people to do everything from hold events there to just go out and read a book in the park … play a pick up soccer game there. It’s wonderful,” she said.
She described the plans as “the first couple steps” in making the park an area that is “always full of people doing whatever they want to do.”
The concept, which is scheduled to begin within the next year, should take about 18 to 24 months to complete. Osman forewarns students and faculty who are eagerly awaiting the renovations that the process will take some time. “There’s just a lot of paperwork that goes into it. We’d love to have it happen today, but it’s federal money and it just takes a while to come through,” she said.
Future plans encompass renovations of all of the park’s sides and the entirety of its interior and entertain the possibility of building a permanent amphitheatre in an area where there is a natural dip in the topography already.
Students in the future may be able to look forward to such local entertainment as Shakespeare in the park.