January 20, 2020 1:11:13 PM
The planned additions and renovations at Moncrief Park have had a "significant change in scope" over the past few months, Robert Luke, principal architect at Meridian-based LPK Architects told the board of aldermen at its Friday work session.
Aldermen approved in September the designs for the additions of new restrooms at Moncrief Park, Patriot's Park and the J.L. King Park football field. The board also approved the addition of the Moncrief pool deck and pool house to the project.
Parks and Recreation Director Gerry Logan said Moncrief first and foremost needs an aesthetic update.
"It's in overall good shape, but when you pull up in the parking lot, it does not look very attractive," he said.
The updated plans for Moncrief include a more ADA-accessible pavilion, pergolas for shade, a concessions area and more open space for seating and socializing, Luke said. The design of the open-air changing facilities is up for debate for personal privacy reasons, he said.
He described the plans as "like having an entirely new facility there."
"We want something people will be attracted to," he said. "It's your public resort, not a private resort. (It's) something taxpayers will be excited to talk about."
The pavilion will hopefully be put to regular use for birthday parties and family reunions, he said.
"Every time we have talked to people for public and private ventures lately, the big problem people have is where to have parties," Luke said. "Every (place) that has a party venue stays packed, especially for birthday parties, so we want to make this thing as pretty as possible for that."
Additionally, the board will likely take bids at their first February meeting on the construction of new bathrooms at J.L. King Park and Patriot's Park, Logan said. The city and LPK Architects will then turn their attention to the plans for Moncrief and decide whether to move forward with the proposed changes to the plans, he said.
J.L. King Park will have some solar panels so it can be "as much off the grid as possible (and) reduce city services and costs there," Luke said.
The renovations and additions to all three parks are part of a three-year capital project plan beginning with the current fiscal year. Logan presented the plan to the board in September.
The parks department initially considered replacing Moncrief's water filtration system, but Logan said Friday that the system is in good shape and does not need to be replaced even though it is six decades old.
The Moncrief Park pool is set to open this summer regardless of future renovation plans, Logan said.
Mayor Lynn Spruill said she is looking forward to the potential improvements at the park.
"I went there not too long ago and had flashbacks (because) it smells just like it did when I was a kid," Spruill said. "Having a new identity for it would be really nice, so hopefully we can put that into play."
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