Wed, Sep 26, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Former naval artillery base in Taoyuan to be converted into park, elderly center

PUBLIC SPACE:A new building housing a community center is to be constructed on part of the site at a cost of NT$48 million, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan said

By Hsieh Wu-hsiung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A former naval artillery base in Taoyuan is to be transformed into a forest park with a community and elderly daycare center by the end of 2020, the Taoyuan City Government said.

The military site in Dayuan District’s (大園) Wucyuan Borough (五權) used to house anti-aircraft guns before they were transferred to another location after staying idle for nearly 20 years, Dayuan District Chief Lu Shui-tien (呂水田) said.

Efforts to repurpose the base began before Taoyuan was elevated to a municipality in 2014, Lu said, adding that as a township mayor at the time, he repeatedly petitioned the county commissioner to contact the Ministry of National Defense.

The ministry’s Armaments Bureau in 2015 agreed to turn over the base to the municipality, but the procedure to turn over three buildings at the base was only completed this year, Lu said.

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), who inspected the site last week, said that a two-story building would cover half of the 2,640m2 plot and would house the daycare center, a borough office and the headquarters of the borough’s neighborhood watch.

“We estimate that the building and exercise equipment for elderly people would cost the city government NT$48 million [US$1.56 million],” he said.

The rest of the site is to be converted into a forest park and would cost the city NT$22 million, the Department of Urban Development said.

The navy had planted trees to provide cover for the anti-aircraft guns and the department would strive to conserve valuable trees and move them to other areas if necessary, it said.

The department said it plans to have at least one of the buildings house some of the documents from the former military base, allowing visitors to learn about the history of the area.

Once the city receives and approves the final design for the building, it would seek contractors, the department said.

The main building would be turned over to the Dayuan District Office, while the park would be overseen by the department, it said.

Other departments have been instructed to fill the irrigation ditches in the area, the department added.

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