Councilmen see master plan for Rock Creek Park

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

By Karen Hall


Lewisburg city councilmen got a look at the master plan for Rock Creek Park during their work session Monday night.

The plan was prepared by HFR Designs of Nashville, and presented by Associate Designer Planner Brandon M. Harvey.

HFR stands for Hart, Freeland, and Roberts, and their history in Marshall County goes all the way back to 1928, when they were the architects of the courthouse.

The master plan for Rock Creek Park has nine components, Harvey told councilmen, illustrating his talk with a pictures and drawings projected on a screen set up in the council room. They are

* Underground utilities. Views in the park will be greatly improved when all wires run underground.

* Amphitheater seating. The slope from the park up to the 1st Avenue parking lot will be transformed into a series of shallow grass and stone steps.

* Improvements to the existing stage.

* Move the sound booth.

* Make cosmetic improvements to the storage shed and the restrooms, making them fit into the appearance of the park better.

* Create an arboretum (a botanical garden devoted to trees) and a nature-education center on the other side of Rock Creek, near the end of the bridge.

* Extend the greenway so that it goes all the way to Jones Park.

* Install stamped pavements, which look a little like brick, in place of plain concrete, to make the park look more attractive, and set it apart from the rest of the city.

* Work on the 1st Avenue Connector, making 1st Avenue North from the square to Rock Creek Park a safe and pleasant route for walkers and cyclists, as well as motorists. This will include improved sidewalks and lighting, a bike lane, and additional trees.

An anonymous corporate donor will be giving the city $100,000 for improvements to the park, but would not do this without a master plan in place.

In other business at the work session, councilmen discussed using a Safe Routes to School grant, plus some other money from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, to make a sidewalk on Old Columbia Road from its intersection with Silver Creek Road all the way to West Commerce Street.

They also heard from city attorney Steve Broadway, who presented a new ordinance which he strongly recommended the city to adopt. It deals with procedures for the inspection of public records.

"We have to make sure we are in line with current (state) policy," said City Manager Randall Dunn.

"If we use this ordinance, we will be in compliance with state law," added Broadway.

The first of three readings of the ordinance will take place at the council's monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12.

Also to be heard at that meeting will be a presentation from Gobbell Hays Partners Inc. about the outdoor pool at the Rec Center, including estimates of the cost of repair versus replacement.

Gobbell Hays was not quite ready to make a presentation at this week's work session, Dunn said, but will be ready next Tuesday.

In a departure from their normal practice, councilmen will hear the presentation, discuss, and (hopefully) vote on it all in one meeting, instead of having the presentation and discussion at a work session, followed by a vote at the next formal council meeting.

The city manager explained he scheduled it this way because of time constraints.

"If we want to open the pool on May 23 (the Saturday before Memorial Day) we do not want to lose 30 days" by waiting until the September council meeting, said Dunn.