Final Concept for ‘Westside Master Plan’ complete

Changes, additions and improvements will take place over the next 20 years
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Your input on what you’d like to see in and around marathon park is becoming a reality. The Parks Commission just gave the go-ahead on the final concept for the ‘West Side Master Plan’ this week. It’s only step one in the approval process, but the goal is to update and revitalize Marathon Park over the next 15 to 20 years.

The plan has many phases but the first steps will be to improve the renovation of older buildings and improve safety on the roads.

“We get a lot of cut-through traffic that don’t want to be on Stewart Ave. and they go at all speeds through the park,” said Jamie Polley, Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Director for Wausau and Marathon County.

The goal is to remove all the gravel and get more green space to create more narrow roads and designated parking areas. The Director says early phases also include ‘East Gate Hall’ getting renovated.

“It’s heavily used now by weddings and family reunions and big get-togethers but it could be so much more attractive to our community to use for those types of events,” said Polley.

Marathon Junction could be completely rebuilt.

“A new building would possibly be built that could house the changing area for the Splash Pad, the restrooms, a concession area, possibly even a beer garden.”

The train area, a local favorite, would also see improvements.

“We’d like to expand the train tracks to make it a little more interesting of a train ride…We need to replace the splash pad, it has reached its useful life,” said Polley.

But all of that would take place many years down the road. If the county board votes for final approval in December there will still need to be a lot of planning. Construction for the first phase will likely start in 2025.

Well, it is a project that will require a lot of time Polley says it’s important to revitalize the historical park at the heart of the community. That way it continues to draw in people from both inside and outside the community.

“I think it’s going to become even more popular and become a place where people want to be and bring their kids,” said Polley.

The final concert plan still has to go through an approval process and there could still be changes.

To learn more details on the ‘Westside Master Plan’ click here. It starts on page 19.