Moore Square's extreme makeover set for November start

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Raleigh's Moore Square

We saw many people cross Moore Square bundled up in hats, coats and even a few scarves on a chilly Monday morning when more details about the planned park makeover came to light.

Stephen Bentley, the assistant director of Raleigh Parks, confirmed the November 9 groundbreaking date and the day construction's scheduled to begin:

"November 14th, the park will be closed for approximately 13 to 14 months during its renovation," said Bentley.

He also told us about the park's legacy in Raleigh:

"Moore Square has been a place of celebration, protests, marriages, and birthdays for 200 years. And it still will be."

Preserving the large ancient trees in the park is also a priority, he said:

"Those are 200 years old. They've seen most of the history of Raleigh. So the design focuses on certain walkways. What we've created is a dignified frame. So the construction focuses on preserving that historic grove. "

Moore Square Director Jenna Kostka showed us some of the unique features in plans for the park upgrade.

"A large table that could be used for a meeting or a family reunion. A splash zone for the kids. It'll have a natural play area with a slide and other natural play features. It's gonna have a kiosk here with a restaurant," said Kostka.

Authorities tell ABC11 they're working with social service advocates to provide assistance and placement for homeless people who won't be able to access the park during the construction period, now scheduled to end in 2019.

Shana Overdorf of the Partnership to End & Prevent Homelessness said, "We're working really closely with the Raleigh Police Department to make sure that folks aren't trespassed. And when we talk about "y'all means all," that really is applicable here."

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