02/02/14 — Council offers glimpse at plans for park

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Council offers glimpse at plans for park

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on February 2, 2014 1:50 AM

The Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department will present its proposed Herman Park Master Plan at the City Council meeting Monday night along with the proposed renovations to Herman Park Center as part of a possible $18.9 million Parks and Recreation bond up for a vote in May.

The plan includes new walking tracks, another bathroom as well as improvements to the parking behind Herman Park Center and a new pedestrian entrance.

"The plan is not written in stone and is only a conceptual plan to show the citizens of Goldsboro what we will do with the funds if the bond is approved," Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard said.

Barnard added that the plan is more than just a starting point but is also a conglomeration of what the public asked for in a park renovation.

If the plan is approved and the bond passed, Barnard said his first priority will be finding grants to add to the funds.

"My first mission is to figure out how to turn every dollar into another dollar," he said.

Barnard also wants to explore expanding current partnerships for the park as well as finding new ones such as Goldsboro High School's use of the tennis courts.

Barnard said the biggest change to the park will be the connectivity between it and Herman Park Center, pulling the two into one complex.

"For a lot of people, the two are separate," Barnard said. "With the ditch running down between them, they think they can't get over there. It's like pulling teeth getting people to use those spots, and filling in the ditch and a new entrance will help that."

By adding a closer restroom, Barnard said people will stay in the park longer and feel better about having their children going to the restroom there.

"I'm not pretending it's the 1950s or anything. I don't want my kid going 200 yards to a bathroom around the back of the building," Barnard said.

The changes to the park are designed to give it a feel much like Charleston's Battery Park, he said.

The Parks and Rec director said he feels investing in the city's signature park will have a positive impact on the area for the residents and will expand the area's appeal to tourists.

Changes to the park also include renovating play areas, and installing sidewalks and dedicated walking tracks to improve handicapped accessibility.

Overall, about 100 new parking spaces are planned, with about half on Park Avenue and the rest behind the center.