City Council held a joint meeting with the Parks & Rec Commission Monday night about the future of West Park in Murfreesboro.
Several members of the board weighed in on the conversation.
NewsRadioWGNS' Jackson Jones has more...
We spoke with City Councilman Rick LaLance after the meeting:
The main theme discussed at the meeting was what kind of fields are needed most due to overcrowding in areas such as Barfield Park and more.
LaLance made several comments regarding concerns of having a second site for extra land and speeding up the process for public input because the city receives opinions from the community consistently.
Councilman Eddie Smotherman said, "I don't want us to get so house rich that we are furniture poor," regarding the closing of the YMCA last year, which some citizens wish was still in the city.
Smotherman said they don't expect to build a facility like a hockey field, but can see other potential ideas like a skate or splash park which Murfreesboro doesn't have. "There's a spot by the Sportscom complex which would be perfect for Frisbee Golf," said Smotherman.
Mayor Shane McFarland asked about moving the construction process sooner because of the promise to the public to have sports field up in running two years from now and not three years. (From the presentation given to the board, a realistic look is three years)
"123 acres may seem like a lot of land, but when you start adding walking and bike trails, soccer fields, baseball fields, it gets smaller," said Mayor McFarland.
A final decision is expected to be made by May 2017. Constructions documents will be written up in the Fall of 2017.
In June 2016, City Council purchased a 123-acre parcel of land bordered by Blackman Road, Burnt Knob Road, Veterans Parkway, and I-840 in the Blackman area known as the McDonald farm property for development of a West Park.
On Nov. 10, 2016, Council authorized moving forward with a park master plan in a contract for development of the West Park on the McDonald property in west Murfreesboro. Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. and a team of engineering, architectural and design companies will coordinate a community visioning effort, including a kickoff workshop, focus groups, land-owner meetings, and a community meeting ahead of construction. The team will also conduct surveys, base mapping, preliminary concept development, architectural concepts and a final master plan.
The City Council previously approved the original Engineering Services Contract for a West Park July 25, 2013, following approval by the Murfreesboro Parks & Recreation Commission
In January 2016, Council received an update from David Coode, planning consultant of Kimley-Horn & Associates. The Parks Department had previously indicated that the City of Murfreesboro is short of recreational fields, including soccer, baseball and softball fields, according to National Recreation and Parks Association standards.
West Park is expected to be open to play by August 2019 (or Spring 2020 at the latest.)