"We're building a new neighborhood, we're building an area where people can grow, where people want to move to," said Oneida County Executive, Anthony Picente.
Thanks to $197,000 grant, Oneida County officials can begin the steps to transform the former school in the Cornhill Neighborhood into "Kemble Park."
The money will go toward testing for the land before the actual construction begins.
"We want to make sure that the soil is safe and that there aren't any contaminants that are going to become a problem down the road," said Cathe Bullwinkle, with the Oneida County Health Department. "You would never want to have children playing on a site that wasn't safe for anything that we're doing."
And if any contamination is found, Bullwinkle says there's a plan in place.
"We'd meet with the school district and then we would work with them to develop funding if there was any cleanup necessary," said Bullwinkle.
Once the park is done, Bullwinkle and others say it will impact the community in more ways than one.
"Anytime you give people play space or a place to exercise, they're going to be healthier," said Bullwinkle.
"I think it will help bring families together, I think it will give an opportunity for the community to really utilize an asset that we have and beautify the neighborhood," said Christopher Salatino, Utica City School District School Board President.