With a new park under construction along U.S. 50 near downtown Seymour, city officials are working to find ways to update and make improvements to One Chamber Square.

The Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety recently approved a $38,000 contract with HWC Engineering in Indianapolis for surveying and preliminary design work for the project.

City engineer Nathan Frey said the city will be submitting the plans this year as part of a main street revitalization grant application to the state Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

“This is the first phase of that to get the documents we need to apply for the grant,” Frey said.

The project also includes safety improvements to St. Louis Avenue and a pedestrian crossing over the Louisville and Indiana rail line to make it easier, safer and legal for people to walk across the railroad tracks to get from the new park to One Chamber Square and vice versa.

Located along the eastbound side of St. Louis Avenue next to the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce building, One Chamber Square is a place for community events and special gatherings. It is used during Oktoberfest, for chamber picnics in the summertime and during downtown Christmas, Halloween and Flag Day events.

Completed in the fall of 1987, construction of One Chamber Square had a price tag of $170,000 and was part of an overall project costing around $1 million that included sidewalk and curb repair and the planting of trees in a 14-block area downtown.

Just a couple of years after One Chamber Square was built, people began to complain that it wasn’t being used enough. It was vandalized repeatedly, and a fountain feature had to be removed due to damage.

Frey said the updates likely will include added green space and ultimately will improve safety.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.