The former Franklin Elementary School site is transforming into a community public park. A ground breaking ceremony occurred in August 2015. Franklin Park is the brainchild of former Franklin Elementary student and neighborhood kid – Scott Niswonger. It is being brought to life through funding by The Van Wert County Foundation, Scott & Nikki Niswonger, and Van Wert City Parks & Recreation.
Site grading, new curbs, sidewalks, and underground utilities were installed in 2016. May 2017, marks the beginning of Phase two construction. Contractors will construct the pavilion, splash pad, 2-5-year-old playground, and 5-12-year-old playground. Electrical, site lighting, and site amenities will be installed – including benches, trash receptacles, picnic tables, and drinking fountains. Site-specific trees will be planted in the fall of 2017. Project completion will be 2018 with additions of a basketball court, pickle ball courts, and a skate board park.