City Manager Alan Carson introduced a conceptual master plan at the 2014 City Council retreat entitled the "Re-Creation of Recreation" in an effort to address City Council's goals. Key components of the vision to completely revamp recreational facilities and enhance participant recreational opportunities in Lexington are a result of the Parks and Recreation Facility Development Master Plan Study facilitated by Site Solutions in 2013 which included interactive public forums. Youth recreational opportunities in the community have been reiterated for over four decades and most recently reemphasized again by the citizen-led Strategic Planning Committee's 2020 Renaissance plan.
Lexington Aquatic Park OPENED IN 2015!
The renovated Lexington Aquatic Park (formerly Hillside Pool) opened to the public on June 13, 2015. It boasts a competition-length swimming pool, zero-depth entry area, four water play features, and ADA accessibility. In December 2013, Lexington City Council accepted the donation of Hillside Pool from Hillside Properties. The renovation of this donated aquatics asset posed an opportunity to unify the community and operate as a premier City aquatics facility - a dramatic improvement over the two existing antiquated pools. Initiated with the 2014 summer season, the City entered into a contractual arrangement with the J. Smith Young YMCA to handle daily pool operations which continues for the current season. Partnerships pose a 'win-win' to hold down costs of operations, while providing a higher level of service. The Lexington Aquatic Park is a significant attraction for families, furthers the economic appeal of the community, and offers Lexington youth a future opportunity to compete with other swimming organizations; all while maintaining swim lessons and summer aquatics for Lexington youth.
Washington Park "Re-creation" OPENED Fall 2016!
The Washington Park renovation includes a spray ground, playground, picnic pavilion with a multi-purpose patio, basketball court, walking trails, teen gathering area, historical marker, upper picnic shelter, parking improvements, renovations to the existing picnic shelter, and renovations to the existing bathhouse. All amenities are accessible and meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. A ribbon cutting was held in November of 2016, and the Splash Pad was opened in May of 2017.
The Parks and Recreation Facility Development Master Plan Study included community involvement, not just for a renovation of Washington Park but a complete assessment of facility needs and recreational desires by City of Lexington residents. A spray ground was emphasized as a missing element and a highly desirable summer attraction - a place to cool off, picnic and a great environment for families. Lexington City Council members endorse the "re-creation of Washington Park" as a community facility draw that will bring all cultures, neighborhoods and citizens together. To make this possible, a safe, family friendly environment must be provided. Due to the condition of Washington Park pool and existing safety concerns, the pool was closed in 2014 and slated for "re-creation."
Tompkins Consulting, Alfred Benesch & Company, members of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and members of the community collaborated during multiple work sessions to derive the final plans. The plans included a community facility that is functional, enhanced recreational amenities currently unavailable and aesthetically pleasing green space for City residents. This collaborative effort was a major undertaking and achieved a quality park that City residents can take pride in. The construction costs were offset for the citizens because the City of Lexington sought and was awarded a $217,500 reimbursable grant from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) for this renovation project.
Radcliffe Park "Re-creation" DESIGN UNDERWAY!
Through public forums conducted as a part of the Facility Development Master Plan Study, citizens indicated a desire for a Skate Park. With the opening of the Lexington Aquatic Park in 2015, Radcliffe Pool was closed at the end of the 2014 season. CLH Design and Team Pain have worked with citizens for input to complete the initial design phase of Radcliffe's “re-creation” into Lexington’s first skate park. Public meetings were held in 2016 for community input. Final design work is underway and construction is slated to begin in 2018. This project will be approached just like other park renovations, with the end result to create significant appeal for current residents as well as prospective residents and businesses. Check out the video below for more details on the design!
City Recreation Indoor Facility - Ultimate goal is the WOW factor!
For literally decades, despite a very pronounced recurring need, an indoor recreation facility has not come to fruition for Lexington residents. Statistics, demographics, citizen involvement and four independent studies have routinely supported the critical need for a safe, fun and education-oriented facility for City of Lexington youth. In July 2014, City officials took action to purchase the former Tri-Distributors building at 940 South Main Street. In October 2014, the City received a generous donation of $125,000 over five years to support the development of the indoor recreation center! Additionally, the City sought and successfully received a $250,000 NC PARTF Grant to mitigate the cost of purchasing the building. Consulting efforts will be tasked to meet with focus groups with desired construction plans in place late 2018. This facility will result in the expansion of current youth programming, activities and athletics. It will also allow for a safe, positive environment for youth to be active physically while being mentored by adults with a passion for investing in the future generations of the community. The facility might also accommodate various adult programming features. Partner agencies such as Lexington City Schools, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, J. Smith Young YMCA and transportation provided by Davidson County could be key partners in utilizing and operating this facility to maximum capacity. The ultimate goal is a WOW factor since the citizens have waited for decades for this facility!
CALLING ALL CITIZENS AND CORPORATE PARTNERS!
If you would like to be involved or offer your generosity to this once in a lifetime exciting "Re-creation of Recreation" unifying effort in the City of Lexington, please contact the Director of Parks and Recreation today!