There’s plenty to look forward to in 2018

Manchester-based architect Dennis Mires created this rendering, which envisions one concept for what the old Concord Theatre could look like if it's overhauled. The historic theater is located at 18 S. Main St., between Endicott Furniture and OutFITters Thrift Store. Dennis Mires PA, The Architects
Manchester-based architect Dennis Mires created this rendering, which envisions one concept for what the old Concord Theatre could look like if it's overhauled. The historic theater is located at 18 S. Main St., between Endicott Furniture and OutFITters Thrift Store. Dennis Mires PA, The Architects
The Concord Theatre in its present state.  Geoff Forester
The Concord Theatre in its present state. Geoff Forester
The first phase of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail sought to connect Loudon Road and Manchester Street, chiefly through a quarter-mile-long boardwalk over wetlands.  Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail
The first phase of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail sought to connect Loudon Road and Manchester Street, chiefly through a quarter-mile-long boardwalk over wetlands. Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail
A trail kiosk describes the future plans of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail at Terrill Park in Concord, as seen on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Plans for the trail include a boardwalk over the wetlands at the north end of the park. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz
A trail kiosk describes the future plans of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail at Terrill Park in Concord, as seen on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Plans for the trail include a boardwalk over the wetlands at the north end of the park. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz
Despite a little cold weather work continues on the new city community center on the Heights, which is scheduled to open in June, just in time for summer. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff
Despite a little cold weather work continues on the new city community center on the Heights, which is scheduled to open in June, just in time for summer. TIM GOODWIN / Insider staff

Concord has seen quite a bit of change over the past few years.

There was the whole Main Street project that spanned two summers and has turned the downtown area into a destination. Selfishly, there was the complete overhaul of the Sewalls Falls Bridge that now allows us Monitor/Insider folks to turn right out of the parking lot.

The city is now home to a pair of breweries (Lithermans Limited and Concord Craft Brewing) that has greatly enhanced ours (and yours) beer consuming enjoyment. Add in some new restaurants and shops, theater space and capital projects, and the Granite State capital is looking pretty appealing.

And it’s only getting better.

Community Center

Things are moving right along at the new $7.64 million, 30,750-square foot community center up on the Heights. The completion date is still tentatively scheduled for this June, which would be a great way to celebrate the start of summer.

The former Dame School was most recently used for the city’s Parks and Recreation offices, and will also do so when the project is finished. It will include four multi-purpose program rooms, two exercise rooms and a large senior programming room.

The original Dame School auditorium was saved and will be used as a multi-purpose room with a warming kitchen. A high school size gymnasium with locker rooms is being added and it will also be home to a part-time library – give or take 15 hours a week.

City streets

If you’re neighborhood road hasn’t been paved in recent years, there’s a good chance it could be coming up thanks to the Enhanced Neighborhood Street Paving Program.

As of now, the city has set aside $1.675 million for the 2018 fiscal year, but that number could grow to help pave more city streets.

Merrimack River Greenway Trail

The proposed pathway first appeared in the Insider back in the spring of 2014, and after many years of fundraising, grant writing and permitting, construction on the trail and boardwalk will start this summer – pending final approvals.

It will create a beautiful walking trail next to the Merrimack River off Loudon Road (behind Buffalo Wild Wings and ConvenientMD) and a way to get to Terrill Park from that side of the river. It will be great when it actually happens. We’ll keep you posted.

Tree line

It sure was sad when all the those trees had to come down at Rollins Park, but we have good news: 43 trees and shrubs will be planted in the spring, while fundraising is ongoing to help plant 150 more trees.

Boutique Hotel

Concord is a growing city with lots of visitors every day. And soon, there will be a new place to stay on South Main Street.

A boutique hotel in the Capital Commons building with more than 30 rooms is expected to open in late spring, with many of those rooms overlooking the downtown area. This will be a new thing for Concord as there are no hotels in the section of downtown that recently underwent that amazing overhaul.

Speakeasy

We’ve been hearing about this new idea for a watering hole for many months, but it seems like things are moving along toward an early 2018 opening.

Chuck’s BARbershop will be located in Eagle Square, and while there isn’t a confirmed opening date, that’s kind of the fun mystery behind an old school speakeasy. When you need to know it’s open, you’ll know.

Concord Theatre

The revitalization of the former South Main Street movie house is expected to begin this year and go through early next year – depending on funding. But with the excitement and buzz around the project, we figured you’d want to know where things stand.

It will be pretty cool when the multi-purpose venue is up and running.

Other

As part of the city’s quest to redo all seven of its swimming pools, Keach Park is on the docket for 2018. The pool will have full ADA accessibility including a “zero-entry” access, along with a beach style ramp, and gusher jets. It will be finished just in time for the pool season, as will the resurfacing of three basketball and tennis courts at the park.

The multi-purpose recreation building at White Park is planned for construction this year with the goal of being done in plenty of time for the 2019 Black Ice Tournament.

When tennis season rolls around, you’ll notice the courts at Memorial Field have been completely restored.

Keep an eye out for the ongoing construction at the School Street garage.

Author: Tim Goodwin

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