At least a part of Abernathy Greenway Linear Park, including a children’s playable art section, will open in fall 2012, according to members of the park Steering Committee.
An update on the $14 million park was provided during Sandy Springs City Councilman Chip Collins' town hall meeting, last week.
More than 120 sculpture entries from around the world were submitted for the playable art section, said Cheri Morris with the Sandy Springs Conservancy board.
"The quality of these submissions is unbelievable,” Morris said. The submissions are set to go to an advisory panel of child safety experts, art conservationists and celebrity judges.
“Then the [City] Council will vote on the final acquisition...to be installed in late 2012; tying into when the Greenway is ready,” she added.
On the north end of the park, property has been acquired, underground utility work has been done, and now in phase three of the process contractor work will include grading, fencing and tree planting. Some trees that were previously planted will be replaced “on the contractor’s dime,” said Ronnie Young, Recreation and Parks director.
“Phase four has over $800,000 in federal funds as part of the project,” said John Boudreau, a consultant with Atkins Global. “The city will match 20 percent bringing the cost to nearly $1 million.”
Young added, “Everything thus far has been paid for. We do have funding available to cover both the design and the contract for phase four…We will approach Council in March for next fiscal year’s capital improvement funds and ask for additional funds. For past two or three years it’s been about [$500,000] per year.”
Phase four will include landscaping, irrigation, sodding, trails, pedestrian lighting and a parking lot, likely for families drawn to the park’s playable art sections. The work goes out to bid shortly, and construction on phase four is expected to start in early 2012.
Neighborhood Sidewalks and Trees along Abernathy Median
Residents want trees on the median along Abernathy Road. “That will happen in time, Collins explained. “GDOT, as a mater of policy, won’t put trees in the median, but when it’s turned back over to us its something that we can do,” he said.
Sidewalks help to connect the city and will also come in time, Collins said. “For those of you concerned about wanting sidewalks, and Brandon Mill in particular, having a park improves your chances of getting sidewalks.”