Milton’s parks and recreation department hosted a public input meeting Thursday for community members to learn about design concepts for the park and submit comments. Last year, city councilmembers voted to spend $1.28 million to purchase about 14 acres adjacent to the park, roughly doubling its size.
Erica Madsen with Foresite Group, the company contracted to develop the master plan design, said the city initially wanted six baseball fields at the park, but there would not be adequate parking to support that.
Parks and Recreation Department Director Jim Cregge said the expansion project for Bell Memorial Park is only one step towards meeting the city’s recreational needs.
“We will have to continue,” he said. “This is not the end.”
Yet Hopewell Youth Association currently is in dire need for more baseball fields, Cregge said. The association has about 685 children playing on only four fields at Bell Memorial Park, he explained, while the Alpharetta Youth Baseball Association has 14 fields for its 800 players. With sports like lacrosse growing in popularity, he said there is also a need for rectangular fields.
Of the two designs for the park showed to the public at Thursday’s meeting, the first featured the baseball diamonds clustered together with the rectangular fields off the southwest corner of the property. The design also included space for one playground area and an amphitheater or outdoor classroom.
In the second design, the baseball diamonds were more spread apart with the rectangular fields closer to the center of the property. The design proposed a secondary entrance to the park, two playground areas and slightly less parking.
Both design plans included walking trails, space for picnic tables and the parking towards the east side of the property.
Cregge said he could not estimate what the timeline or cost of the project would be until a final design is selected. Once construction starts, he said the intent is to keep four baseball fields functional at all times as Hopewell Youth Association uses the park about 46 of the 52 weeks in the year.
Another public input meeting for Bell Memorial Park’s expansion is scheduled for June 27 at Milton City Hall at 13000 Deerfield Parkway, Suite 107.
To submit comments or questions about the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.