SPLOST: Commissioners approve park improvements

The football field at Mountain Park Park will be rebuilt this winter as a 100,000 square-foot synthetic turf field for football, soccer, and lacrosse. Completion of the SPLOST-funded upgrade is scheduled for July.

The old field and press box will be demolished along with a baseball backstop and dugouts. The new field will have a new press box, lighting, fencing, and goals. Work will also include drainage improvements, paving, and retaining wall construction. Gwinnett commissioners awarded the nearly $2.3 million contract to low bidder Precision Turf LLC on Nov. 7.

Mountain Park Park covers 44 acres southeast of Lilburn at 5050 Five Forks Trickum Road. It features baseball/softball fields, tennis courts, a skate complex, and sand volleyball court plus playgrounds, a pavilion, restrooms, and trails. The associated Mountain Park Aquatic Center is located nearby on Rockbridge Road.

Commissioner Lynette Howard said the use of SPLOST funds to upgrade existing facilities helps the County keep up with increased use by a growing population.

“Converting existing grass fields to artificial surfaces improves drainage and eliminates the need to take fields out of use to let the grass grow and recover, and ultimately, residents get more play out of the fields,” said Howard.

On December 19, Gwinnett commissioners also approved a million dollar contract to start construction on an expansion of Club Drive Park near Lawrenceville.

Commissioner Jace Brooks explained that Phase Two is on 2.3 acres of County-owned land across the street from the current 35-acre park at 3330 Club Drive. The property is on the east side of Rolling Ridge Road and extends from Club Drive to Sweetwater Creek.

The project will include a new parking lot accessed from Rolling Ridge Road with 35 parking spaces and a half-acre lawn space surrounded by a paved walking loop. Amenities will include three swing sets, a bike rack, a picnic shelter with tables and grill, two adult swings, and an overlook deck with seating.

A walk and boardwalk aligned with the existing pedestrian crossing on Club Drive will take pedestrians to the walking loop from the Club Drive sidewalk. Drainage from the parking lot will flow through a landscaped retention pond before being released into the Sweetwater Creek drainage basin.

The site will also serve as a trailhead for a planned future greenway south along Sweetwater Creek.

Chairman Charlotte Nash said the contract is funded by the 2014 SPLOST Program.