Conceptual plan for park presented

The names painted on Jan Webster’s barn pay tribute to Bainbridge Island survivors and victims of breast cancer.  - Julie Busch/Staff Photo
The names painted on Jan Webster’s barn pay tribute to Bainbridge Island survivors and victims of breast cancer.
— image credit: Julie Busch/Staff Photo

An aquatic center, a gym and covered tennis courts are among the features in a conceptual plan for expansion of the Community Park and Sports Complex.

Residents will get a peek at the preliminary plans next week, when the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District presents its latest look at its signature facility to members of the public.

The public meeting follows a session late last year, where residents gathered with members of the design group MacLeod Reckord to discuss the development of a master plan for Community Park. The purpose of the master plan is to show the type of improvements that could be developed in a park at some point in the future.

After MacLeod Reckord presented the master plan information they had gathered at the public meeting in November, members of the community offered even more suggestions about what they would like to see included in the park’s master plan.

In the conceptual design, the park may include synthetic turf on soccer fields and a community room with a kitchen.

“We had a good turn out at the November meeting and we are hoping next week’s meeting will draw a lot of people,” said Parks Director Art Burke.

Designers will present three different plans for consideration at the upcoming meeting.

Some of the ideas were generated by a community wide survey the district mailed to 4,000 residents last year.

Several ideas were more popular than others.

“There is a tremendous amount of interest in a pool. The community seems to support building a pool,” Burke said.

Designers are talking about two general ideas; a leisure pool with shallow water lanes, or another design that would add a competition pool to the leisure pool.

Burke said residents also expressed an interest in maintaining the forest and trails for hiking, mountain biking and equestrian activities.

“Tennis use is relatively high with 200 players on the island, but nowhere to play seven months of the year. They would like to host national competitions, but currently cannot do so,” Burke said.

Covered courts were discussed with the idea that these might be shared with indoor soccer, he added.

“The possibility of providing a synthetic turf surface at the South Whidbey High School stadium was thought to be a good idea. The synthetic field would have to be installed before any existing fields are used for other purposes,” Burke said.

While the district’s existing soccer fields are well maintained, all of the fields need drainage improvements.

How to pay for the improvements that the public wants will also be a topic for discussion.

“There are questions about other funding sources besides bond issues. Ideas include grants and donations,” Burke said.

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