Phase 1A of a project at Royal Lane Park started this week, as officials took down playground equipment on Ellen Street in preparation for renovations scheduled to take place at the local facility.
As part of a PARTF grant that was awarded to the City of Clinton, work will be done in four phases, with the first phase to include a new playground for ages 5-12, an area of swings, a tot lot, a paved walking trail, a 400 meter walking and running track around the multipurpose field, an expansion of the multipurpose field with updated irrigation, a new parking lot between the pool and multipurpose field, a new park sign, and an entrance to the new parking lot off Ellen Street.
According to Jonathan Allen, recreation department director, the purpose of making renovations to Royal Lane is to provide better connectivity and flow through the park and make the park more enjoyable for the patrons.
“Royal Lane Park has been a huge asset to Clinton and Sampson County by providing a place for patrons to go to play, run, walk, and stay active,” Allen said. “We have hosted local and state baseball, softball and soccer tournaments at the park. In addition, the park gives people a chance to socialize and interact with others.”
There are four scheduled phases for the project that will be broken down as needed based on financial capabilities. The plan calls for a reorganization and addition of multipurpose fields, the reorganization of baseball and softball fields into a four-wagon-wheel design, reorientation of two of the current fields, additional parking, sidewalks and trails throughout to provide better flow around the park, an addition to the Bellamy Center that will house the main office and additional activity rooms, and an additional gym.
“These will be phased in over time,” Allen explained. “We do have a field naming rights policy in place for those that would like to assist with making the plans a reality.”
Those interested are urged to contact Allen.
Currently, the playground on Ellen Street, by the pool, is closed. All other playgrounds at the park, off Pierce Street and by the office, are open, as well as the playgrounds at the Sampson Center Park on Barden Street, Newkirk Park on Ferrell Street, and Fisher Drive Park on Fisher Drive.
Throughout the renovation project, Allen assured recreation activities are still taking place, and other areas of the park remain open.
“We apologize for any inconvenience, but if everyone will be patient, the completed phase 1A project will be well worth the wait,” Allen said.
City officials pursued the grant with plans to make Royal Lane Park a better overall experience for the residents of Clinton and Sampson County. Additionally, the renovations and additions will allow for more opportunities for the community.
“Royal Lane Park is the city’s flagship park,” city manager Shawn Purvis said. “The park has served residents and visitors throughout Sampson County for nearly 40 years. This PARTF project is the beginning of what we hope will be an ongoing renovation and transformation of the park to ensure its longevity and ability to provide leisure and recreational opportunities for all ages.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588.