Proposed designs for a revamped Royal Lane park are still available for public viewing and feedback is still being taken at the city’s recreation offices and facilities.
The Clinton Recreation and Parks Department has been working with consultant engineering firm Withers & Ravenel toward development of a Royal Lane Master Plan, soliciting feedback from residents in a variety of ways. A revolving-door meeting was held April 4, but those who missed the opportunity can still see the designs.
“We actually have a set of designs that can be viewed here at the office from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday,” said recreation director Jonathan Allen. “They can contact us at 910-299-4906 if they would like to view. There is also a set at the Bellamy Center for viewing.”
There are three colorful conceptual designs — two were fairly similar, with slight variations — of how the park can be consolidated and expanded in a more user-friendly, functional way.
“People can see the way the park is now versus grouping things together,” said Allen. “What we hope comes out of this is that we’re able to provide a park that the public wants to come out to. We want it to be functional and easy to use. Withers & Ravenel did a great job of taking the feedback the public gave them and putting it into these plans.”
In recent months, the firm coordinated four focus groups and an online survey in gathering public input, a crucial part of a N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant application process that could bring in up to $500,000 in funding.
Seven design guiding principles were developed that addressed, among other subjects, the need for more synergy among facilities; better aesthetics; additional defined green space and play areas; and a traffic circulation pattern that improves safety and promotes spacial needs and easier access. Additionally, the design seeks to bring a defined park trail system that provides connections to future greenway trails and signature elements that will enhance the user experience and create an identity for the park.
“We’re dealing with a 79-acre piece of canvas,” said Allen. “We want to try to revitalize the park and meet the needs of the park and the public. It’s been 30 years since we did something. It needs some tender loving care so it can hopefully be there for another 30 to 40 years.”
The three plans each have large designated areas for soccer/football, expanding in the area currently used for those sports. Baseball, basketball, tennis, senior recreation and playgrounds each have their place in the designs, as do fixed items such as the pool, existing restrooms and the Bellamy Center.
Under the varying design proposals, large parking areas are interspersed throughout the park and a perimeter road would encircle the park connecting Pierce Street and Royal Lane. Ellen Street would be included as a cut-through under one design, while being eliminated in two others.
Walking trails and other physical fitness opportunities would be offered with existing greenspaces located between the sports and recreation areas, as well as around the outside of the perimeter road toward the existing amphitheater.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.