The estimated cost to make all the changes and improvements in Brookhaven’s site-specific Park Master Plan is just shy of $28 million, according to a presentation made to City Council on Feb. 9.
Mayor John Ernst acknowledged the total estimated cost was a “big number.”
But the price tag was not a surprise to city officials, City Councilwoman Linley Jones said. It is part of a long-term plan.
“We anticipated all along the price tag for world-class parks would be very, very high,” she said. “This is an aspirational number we can work toward, incrementally based on the plans we were given.”
Liz Cole, project manager for GreenbergFarrow, the city’s consultants on the plan, recommended the city survey all parks to determine exact boundaries, tree inventory, topography and also underground utilities before any work begins. Interim City Manager Gary Yandura said it would cost approximately $300,000 to do so.
Jones said surveys of the parks should be the city’s top priority. “It’s a big deal to get that done and an important decision to make right off the bat so we understand entirely what we have,” she said.
Jones also said she was impressed with the changes and improvements made by GreenbergFarrow that ensure the identity of each park stays intact.
“The consultants came up with terrific plans for each park that really incorporated public input … so the individual spirit of each park will be maintained,” she said. “Every park plan captured what citizens want.”
Some of the renovations and changes include improved parking, and picnic and family shelters at several of the parks.
A few of the specific proposals include: a wall mural at Ashford Park; a nature trail at Blackburn Park; an adventure play area and renovated pool at Briarwood Park; a park sign and memorial at Clack’s Corner; a native grass meadow and boardwalk bridge at Fernwood Park; and a wildlife viewing platform at Georgian Hills Park.
Other proposals include a new pool with a seasonal cover at Lynwood Park; a plaza entry area with staircase and batting cages at Murphey Candler Park; and tennis courts and a dog park at Skyland Park.
The in-depth look at the 10 parks began in September with community meetings seeking input from the public on the parks’ histories, uses and improvements wish lists.
“Every single one of your properties is incredible,” Cole said.
View the entire presentation by clicking here.