The city will begin bidding out various projects in late August or early September, which include renovating the existing pool, resurfacing tennis courts and adding a splash pad, more parking, a new playground, restrooms, a football field, concessions building and press box.
All these projects are part of the first phase in renovating Duncan Park, which began in 2010 with the passing of a referendum for a $10.4 million bond. The bond also is paying for downtown renovations and road resurfacing projects. The phase one renovations are expected to total $4.3 million.
“We’re hoping Duncan Park becomes a place of destination,” Avery said. He said he hopes residents will come to Duncan Park and then either go to restaurants downtown or on Highway 74, ensuring that residents don’t need to leave the city for entertainment and good food.
Duncan Park was once what Avery called a “hidden jewel in our city” when it was owned and operated by Fulton County. However, when the city passed the 5,000 mark in population, maintenance was turned over to the city. The city could not keep up the maintenance and the park became essentially abandoned.
It was in late 2008 or early 2009, when Avery, who was serving as a city councilman and in the throes of campaigning for mayor, said he decided to take on the renovation.
So far, the city has demolished and replaced pavilions in the park, improved lighting and demolished the former recreation building, which had been condemned.