Parks bond projects are up and running
by Marcus E. Howard
mhoward@cherokeetribune.com
September 29, 2012 01:59 AM | 1843 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOLLY SPRINGS — The various park projects funded by the $90 million parks bond are now going well with no major problems, said Bryan Reynolds, Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency director.

“Overall, the parks bond program is going really well,” he said on Friday.

“We’re making a great deal of progress now. We’ve got a number of projects under construction and several more under design that are going to go to construction pretty soon. I think citizens are going to see a lot of real progress over the next 12 to 18 months.”

In November 2008, voters in Cherokee County approved a $90 million parks bond to purchase land for parks and greenspace, improve existing parks and develop new parks. All land acquisitions and capital expenditures are approved by the Cherokee Board of Commissioners.

Of the dozens of projects approved, three have been completed, Reynolds reported. They are renovations to Hobgood Park in Woodstock and Sequoyah Park in Canton, and the construction of the Badger Creek Park soccer complex on Blalock Road in Canton.

Presently, Holly Springs is seeking the public’s input in the design of the city’s newest park. This week, the Cherokee County Recreation and Parks Agency chose Norcross-based Foresite Group Inc. as the design firm for the construction of the 33-acre park on Hickory Road.

This fall, Holly Springs will conduct two public input meetings to decide what amenities residents would like to see in the new park.

The two public input meetings are scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 14 and 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Holly Springs Municipal Courtroom at 3235 Holly Springs Parkway. Those unable to attend may visit the city’s website at www.hollyspringsga.us and post ideas under the community voice tab.

Officials said the topography of the site and a perennial stream at the bisection of the location will limit some types of construction.

“Due to the topography of the land, the most likely use for the new park property on Hickory Road will be some type of passive use,” said City Manager Rob Logan.

“Construction won’t start until the design has been completed, which will probably be late spring or early summer 2013.”

In total, $1.5 million was allocated for the project from Cherokee parks bond.

Logan said the county will manage the Hickory Road park project. Presently, the city has three parks: a small community park with a playground at Taylors Farm, in addition to Barrett Memorial Park and J.C. Mullins Park.

In Canton, officials agreed earlier this month to move forward with plans for two parks.

The Etowah River Park project, which includes additional playground equipment, design and architectural work, a railroad crossing and a construction contingency, will cost $2.1 million. The estimated cost for four baseball fields on a parcel adjacent to the county-owned Kenny Askew Park on Univeter Road is $2.7 million.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2013, according to the Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency.

According to Reynolds, Woodstock’s trail system project is in the design phase and a portion of the trails will likely be under construction next year.

In Ball Ground, plans to renovate the existing park are under design, with construction set for 2013.

Nelson is also renovating its existing park, Edmondson Field, and has a construction start date of 2013.

Waleska is purchasing parkland for an overall master park plan and a construction date has not been set.

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