COLUMBUS, Ind. — An in-water recreation park for kayaking and tubing, a river-themed children’s play space with climbing apparatuses, and an expansion of the People Trail along the East Fork White River between the Second and Third Street bridges are all part of a preliminary design concept unveiled for the Columbus Riverfront.

The vision for the riverfront was outlined for residents during a three-hour open house Wednesday at the Hamilton Community Center & Ice Arena, where Hitchcock Design Group presented its recommendations. The Naperville, Illinois-based firm was hired by the city last December at a cost of $299,000 to create a design for the project.

The Columbus Riverfront concept, which also includes several overlooks of the river, was developed as a result of input during a public open house and a survey that generated more than 600 responses, said Richard Hitchcock, president of Hitchcock Design Group.

“It’s been something we’ve been exploring for a long time in what can we do to make it better,” Hitchcock said. “This is a fabulous community with a wealth of assets.”

Also used to formulate the concept for the 19.4-acre site were local demographics, tourism information and interviews with residents, visitors, representatives of community organizations and business owners, Hitchcock said.

Read more details in Friday’s print edition of The Republic.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or