Hickory Hills Park to undergo renovations
by Jon Gillooly
jgillooly@mdjonline.com
July 12, 2011 12:27 AM | 3264 views | 4 4 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A broken basketball goal sits unused at Hickory Hills Park in Marietta.<br>Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan
A broken basketball goal sits unused at Hickory Hills Park in Marietta.
Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan
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MARIETTA — Hickory Hills Park is expected to close at the end of the month for a $1.43 million renovation.

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.”
Comments
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Marietta Mom
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July 13, 2011
Finally! It's about time as this was supposedly one of the largest improvements projects to be funded by the parks bond.

Just to be clear - Marietta CITY Residents, not Cobb County residents, voted to support the parks bond on our November 2009 ballot. We raised our CITY homeowners taxes to fund this improvement, as well as improvements to many other CITY parks -a decision that was supported, apparently, by a majority of the Marietta voters or it wouldn't have happened. The Cobb County furloughs are a crying shame, but are a totally different issue.
Pam Lee
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July 12, 2011
Let's see...you're placing county employees, to include police and firefighters, on furlough, leaving citizens at risk, and yet you apparently have the money to renovate a park to cost $1.43 million dollars. Pretty clear where the county's priorities are, and it's not with the safety of its citizens.
Indian Joe
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July 12, 2011
Hope they provide plenty of trash cans - maybe I won't have to continue picking up the plastic water bottles, gatorade bottles, juice boxes and assorted candy and chip wrappers. And people complain about dogs! I pick up every bit of "litter" my dogs leave - too bad the same can't be said for 2 legged animals.
anonymous
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July 12, 2011
"The only thing at the park is grassy field and worn out track". In 2005, before Marietta City took the park in exchange for another school property, the Hickory Hills Park HAD at least 4 tennis courts, a swing set Area with slides and big "little" kids Area. Two softball fields and Two soccor fields, and sufficient parking for visitors. The City took away everything "to begin renovation" and just forgot about renovation for 6 YEARS. People who provided this info don't live in the neighborhood and should not write comments that are not true to the history of this well loved, well visited neighborhood park, that has been neglected like all things in this part of the City of Marietta - Councilman,s neglect.!
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