New plans have been approved for a north Forsyth park, including plans for the relocation of a special baseball and softball field for players with disabilities.
At a work session on Tuesday, Forsyth County Commissioners approved a new site master plan for Phases 2 and 3 of Lanierland Park, which will include new tennis courts, walking trails and will be the new site of a Miracle League field.
“Lanierland is a beautiful piece of land. We’re excited with what we have out there right now. As we design this, we want to create just an excellent park,” Jim Pryor, the county’s director of parks and recreation. “I think that the plan has done that.”
Pryor said the department had been working with Lose Design to come up with the plans. The work is expected to cost about $16 million.
“We took some of the same facilities and flip-flopped them and moved them around the site until we had what we are presenting to you today,” Pryor said. “The plan did add some features to the site.”
Lanierland Park was planned in 2014 and opened in 2017.
Some of the new amenities include expanded parking, a roundabout and a fieldhouse for the multi-sport fields.
Phase 2 of the project was expected to bring four baseball fields for players with special needs, as a planned project at Coal Mountain Park meant the facility would have to relocate its Miracle League fields.
“With the village of Coal Mountain coming, there’s going to be a road cutting through Coal Mountain Park, which is going to take a little bit of the park away and create some issues,” Pryor said. “The Miracle League had asked us to look in the plan for Lanierland, possibly doing a Miracle Field and a new Miracle playground and incorporate that within the baseball complex.”
While the current Miracle League field has a rubberized surface, Pryor said the new field would have synthetic turf, meaning it could be used by players outside of Miracle League.
Another plan that has slightly changed is for a tennis complex at the park.
“This tennis complex will be used by East Forsyth High School for their game matches,” Pryor said. “The original plan has four pods of tennis courts to be put in. Three of those will be for tennis, so that’s six tennis courts, which is ideal for competitive tennis, and the pod on the lower left-hand corner will be for a Pickleball pod.”
Pryor said as crews graded the land, they would make space available for two more potential tennis pods, though those have not yet been planned.
The park will include a 1.5-mile trail around the site along with other connector trails on paved, natural and boardwalk surfaces.
The park is named for a former music park of the same name, which in its heyday hosted famous musicians Hank Williams Jr., Johnny Cash, Alabama, George Jones and many others. The park closed in 2006, and the land was purchased in 2009 by the county with funds from the Parks, Recreation and Green Space Bond.
During the meeting, commissioners also approved a bid for remediation of the park’s “Concerts in the Country” sign, which has stood since its concert days. The bid was awarded to Lang Signs for about $19,000 to be paid out of the beautification funds for District 4.
“I’m looking at it, through a lot of community input, as it being like a historical thing that fits with the [comprehensive] plan,” said District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, whose father was a partner at the music facility and who previously served as general manager.