By SAMANTHA HEARN
In just a few weeks the ribbons will be cut on two of Brentwood’s newest parks.
Construction on the two adjacent parks, Flagpole and Wikle, is nearing completion as flowers are planted, playground equipment is installed and the final touches are being laid down. At 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, the City of Brentwood will host a Grand Opening ribbon cutting with a free exercise class to follow.
With office and commercial development happening behind the parks at Mallory Park, the 8.7-acre Flagpole Park and the 15-acre Wikle Park are serving as a buffer zone between the commercial area and the nearby neighborhoods.
Wikle Park will mainly be a low traffic, neighborhood park, with Flagpole Park more dedicated to practice fields and activities. The two tracts are connected through a pedestrian easement.
In October 2015, the City approved an agreement with Division 2 Constructors to develop the area, already commonly known as Flagpole Park. The purchase of almost $80,000 of playground equipment was approved next, with that part being developed by Custom Recreation.
The playground features a heavy duty swing with three belt seats and one inclusive seat, a free standing spiral slide, rainbow loops, a grasshopper spring rider, a bumblebee spring rider, a climbing structure and two modular structures.
The playground equipment is designed for two age groups of children, from age 2 to 5 and age 5 to 12. Custom Recreation is subcontracted through Division 2, who will be installing the mulch, gazebos, benches and trash receptacles near the playground. Custom Recreation has installed numerous shelters and playgrounds in the area, including the Granny White playground which was installed in 2000.
The bid from Division 2 totals at $1.8 million, including a base bid of more than $1.6 million plus an $80,000 playground allowance, $38,000 in utility fees, $10,000 for removal of existing structures, and a $71,000 contingency allowance.
The Parks Department budgeted the project for fiscal year 2016 at $1.5 million. The remaining balance of an estimated $300,000 came from the city’s unassigned General Fund balance of a projected $26 million for 2016.
Mostly intended to be a neighborhood park for the surrounding subdivisions, initial plans faced some opposition from nearby residents over issues like traffic and accessibility.
Residents told city planners last year they would not be comfortable with parking access from Wikle Road, which ends in a cul-de-sac.
In the past, there were also multiple efforts to rezone the property for commercial use.
In 2010 the city reached an agreement with the original owner of the land who gave them the two tracts in exchange for a portion of the property rezoned as commercial, according to City Manager Kirk Bednar. That portion is now Mallory Park where businesses include the Porsche and Audi dealerships.
Division 2 is already building Mallory Park and was the lowest bidder for the Flagpole and Wikle project.
The parks are located between the CSX railroad on the west, Interstate 65 and General MacArthur Drive on the east, and Wikle Road West to the south. It is surrounded by the commercial area known as Mallory Park, which is currently in development and will be two one-story office buildings that will house Quorum Healthcare.
The official Grand Opening ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Saturday, Oct. 202 at 9 a.m.
See photos below of how Wikle Park is shaping up.
Samantha Hearn reports for Home Page Media Group. She can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @samanthahearn.