Parks Director Rich Buss said the city selected the lowest bidder, Alpharetta-based CRS Building Corporation, on Thursday to renovate the 10.6-acre park near Chestnut Hill Road off Powder Springs Street, with the exception of the playground area, which will cost another $130,000 to $200,000. The city received 10 bids.
Buss said the city would bid the playground project out in the next few months after he determines how underground water would affect construction.
Buss said he hopes to reopen most of the park at the beginning of January, with the exception of the newly grassed areas, such as the two youth-sized soccer fields and a multi-purpose field. The grassed areas likely won’t open until next summer to give the grass a chance to take root.
Currently, the only things at the park are two open grassy fields, a walking track and an aging parking lot.
The new park will feature an extended walking track, a new parking lot with about 139 spaces, a restroom facility, two tennis courts and a picnic shelter, along with the playground, two soccer fields and a multi-purpose field.
“At the completion of the park — we hope early in January — all of our citizens will be able to use this park as intended when the city purchased it from the school board,” Buss said.
The park renovation will be completed using funds from the $25 million parks bond Marietta voters approved in November 2009. About $1.75 million was earmarked for Hickory Hills.
In 2006, the Marietta city school board swapped the park for the city’s old fire station on Polk and Winn streets. Although the school system has long since renovated the firehouse as the headquarters of the school district’s foundation, little has been done with the park.
Councilman Johnny Sinclair, who chairs the city’s Parks Committee, recalled playing on the park when he attended Hickory Hills Elementary School.
“I’ve been playing on that park since 1974,” Sinclair said. “There’s nobody more ready for it to be upgraded than me.”
Sinclair said residents are anxious to see the park renovated.
“I get people all the time saying ‘when are you going to get moving on that thing?’ so I’m glad to see it moving,” he said. “I love the plan and I also love the fact that from what I can tell, the citizens love the plan. We got a lot of positive feedback, and that’s because we got a lot of neighborhood input.”