ALPS is an acronym for "Avon Lake Play Space", a playground that has served Avon Lake and its surrounding region for more than 25 years. It was built during the spring of 1994, by the hands of those who live in our community. It has served the community well.

May 2024: City Council approved Ordinance No. 24-58, this ordinance authorized the Mayor to execute a personal service agreement with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., to design the play space. It was signed by Mayor Spaetzel on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 and forwarded to Kimley-Horn on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. A project kickoff meeting will be scheduled soon.

April 2024: The City requested a proposal for design and construction management services from Kimley Horn. Upon receipt, the proposal was reviewed by the administration and recommendations for changes were discussed and agreed to by both the administration and Kimley Horn. The proposal was presented to the Communication, Environmental and Recreational Programming Committee on April 22nd and was unanimously approved to move to Council for consideration.

March 2024: Statement of Qualifications were received from Brandstetter Carroll Inc., Behnke, Kimley Horn and Associates and Gametime. The four submissions were evaluated by the ALPS Review Committee based upon the pre-established criteria. As a result of these evaluations, Behnke, Brandstetter Carroll and Kimley Horn were scheduled for in-depth interviews. After reviewing the Statements of Qualifications, evaluations, interviews and references, the Committee selected Kimley Horn as the professional design firm for the ALPS.

January- February 2024: Sixmo Architects of Cleveland created a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for landscape design professionals for the ALPS playground project. The administration and City Council approved the RFQ and it was publicly advertised. A Review Committee was created, and evaluation criteria was established based upon the RFQ document.

December 2023: The legal processes associated with the initial design phase of the Avon Lake Play Space (ALPS) concluded when the Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the ruling favorable to the City of Avon Lake in the case brought by ParkPlay Solutions.

October 2023: We're pleased to report that the City of Avon Lake's position was upheld by the 9th District Court of Appeals, which rejected the arguments of a bidder that was not selected for the project - both in the court's original decision and again in denying the bidder's application for reconsideration of the original decision. The bidder is now attempting to have the Ohio Supreme Court review the matter. Here is where our Avon Lake Play Place project now stands. First, while the appeals process continues to play out, we are moving forward and considering our next best steps to complete the project as we remain determined to provide our children the playground we first conceived almost two years ago. Second, this process will continue to be conducted in public and in full view of our taxpayers, just as the project has been handled thus far. As the appeals court decision made clear, we have followed our bidding process and public votes were held on this project by our Parks and Recreation Commission, by our Public Service Committee and finally by City Council. We conduct our business in public and will continue to do so. Third and finally, while this legal process has been lengthy and challenging it also resulted in an important upholding of Home Rule - allowing the local government that Avon Lake citizens elected to make decisions for our city. As the appeals court ruled: " ... we conclude that the bidding process the City utilized for the Project was a proper exercise of its Home Rule power under its Charter and that the utilized proposal process complied with the City's Charter." We will continue to provide more news about our playground project whenever possible.

September 2023: The Ninth District Court of Appeals has issued a decision regarding the appeal of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas injunction on the ALPS project. The City is please by the recent decision of the Ninth District Court of Appeals, which upheld the procurement process used by the City for the ALPS project as a valid exercise of its Home Rule powers, as is set forth in its Charter. To read the full decision, click here.
Avon Lake City Council is working to determine the best next steps to provide a great play space for our children, as soon as possible. Updates will be appear on this page.

July 2023: ALPS RFP issue date and notification of shortlisted offerors. MEMO

June 2023: See our concept plan

June 2023: A Request for Qualifications has been posted in search of Design-Build services.

May 2023: City Council has authorized the Recreation Department to go out for bids. The Law Director is currently reviewing the bid package. Once complete we will be advertising for bids.

October 2022: City officials and members of council share the community's desire to make the reimagined Avon Lake Play Space a reality. We have spent countless hours engaging the community to develop a space that multiple generations can enjoy. In an effort to move the project forward despite current legal challenges, City Council authorized the Mayor to negotiate a contract with Sixmo to serve as the criteria architect for this project. Sixmo has a proven track record of success in design build projects and will ensure that the project meets the quality standards that our residents expect, from pre-design through construction. The project will utilize the feedback already obtained from the community as we move forward. While we can't predict product availability and other supply chain issues, our project plan is to procure the equipment during the spring and complete construction before the end of Summer 2023. We are confident this reimagined space will be a destination for our community to enjoy for generations to come.

April 2022: A statement from Mayor Zilka at the April 25, 2022 Council Meeting. "As most of you know, for some time the City has been planning to upgrade the playground equipment in Besser Park. Last year, various city officials, members of council and members of the community spent countless hours working with several prospective playground providers to come up with a suitable plan. We believe the process was open, transparent, fair and legally compliant. Unfortunately, a judge of the Lorain County Common Pleas Court felt that the methodology used was not authorized by the City's Charter. While we respect the Court's decision we disagree with the ruling and have initiated an appeal. In the meantime, because an appeal may take some time, we are exploring other options to get the playground completed as soon as possible and will be discussing this openly in the next several weeks."

January 2022: Council unanimously approved the contract with Midstates Recreation. The order for the new equipment has been placed.

December 2021: Dismantling started...


Cutting the towers free to preserve them.


12-8-2021: The city-wide survey has been completed and the final equipment selections are going through Council. If approved, the equipment will be ordered right away. Our original ALPS will be dismantled starting 12/14. However, the two main towers will be preserved as the gateway to the new play space along with the brick path. If your family didn't donate a brick in 1994 additional bricks will be available in 2022.

10-27-2021: Open house at Avon Lake Public library featured boards with photos of all the equipment options and the opportunity for the whole family to vote for their favorites. Folks had an opportunity to vote online and the participation was fantastic!

Stay tuned to this page for future developments.