Park, rec center to receive $1M in renovations
by Joshua Sharpe
May 23, 2014 04:00 AM | 2495 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Cherokee County is moving forward with more than $1 million in improvements to J.J. Biello Park and the county’s nearby recreation center in Woodstock.

The Board of Commissioners approved awarding a contract for $1.3 million, plus $135,000 in contingency for the project Tuesday night. Georgia Development Partners, which recently finished up renovations on Hobgood Park, got the contract.

Officials said the upgrades will include improvements to drainage systems, sidewalks, parking lot paving and add-ons, resurfacing and a new tennis-court spectator area at J.J. Biello Park. At the recreation center, not far from downtown Woodstock, the playground will be renovated and a new restroom building will be built.

Bryan Reynolds, Cherokee Recreation and Parks director, said the extensive project, funded by the countywide parks bond, is expected to begin in the next three weeks and be finished in November.

Reynolds said the project, on the two locations, is being done as one undertaking simply because the sites are only about a mile apart.

Mostly, Reynolds said, the upgrades are due to the age of the facilities.

“The park is in need of a little upgrade,” Reynolds said. “But it has afforded us the opportunity to add to the facilities.”

J.J. Biello Park sits on about 470 acres — though most of it is undeveloped — and was built about a decade ago.

It was built in phases, and as the park — and demand for its use — grew, Reynolds says the need for improvements became evident. He said 200 to 250 parking spaces will be added to the park to accommodate the overwhelming need for parking during fall sports, such as football and soccer, which draw big crowds.

Cherokee Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens also said needs have come up over time for the well-used park.

“With the heavy use of the parks, the improvement will add to the activities that are provided and make visiting more enjoyable,” Ahrens said. “These have been planned for a while and glad to see the plans fulfilled.”

Reynolds said the improvements are planned to be done in phases, working around sports seasons, and that, for the most part, the recreation hubs won’t have their regular activities interrupted.

“Certainly, anytime we’re in a park doing work, we do close portions of the park for safety,” he said. “When we do, we notify people and post signs. Our goal is limit interruptions as much as possible.”

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