Land donation could expand Henry S. Parker complex

As a skate park rolls closer to reality in Salisbury, city officials are anticipating talking to county leaders about donating 35 acres the city now holds.

The property, off Naylor Mill Road, would be used for a $3 million expansion of the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex, to be used for major youth events.

Mayor Jim Ireton received City Council approval to talk with the county about making the donation for the park, where the Fastpitch Eastern World Series is held.

The county would also be able to host about a dozen more tournaments that would bring millions of dollars to the city.

Concerning the proposed skate park, another public input design meeting is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, July 10.

The consultant group, Pillar Designs Studio, will present three concept drawings at the public hearing, set for 5:30 p.m. at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.

Designs shown to the public will be based on input received at the first public meeting and from the Facebook page Salisbury Skate Park, according to Deborah J. Stam, director of community development for the city.

The committee overseeing the proposed $279,000 park will review the concepts and decide on any changes.

The final decision won’t be made Thursday, Stam said, but not long afterward, since plans for a skate park have been discussed for the past seven years and officials hope to see it open by fall. Construction could begin this summer.

It will be completed in two phases, with 6,000 square feet built first, feturing a bowl and transition elements. In Phase II there will be an additional 8,000 square feet with numerous street and transition elements, Stam said.

Funding is from grants and fund-raising.

Adira Construction Inc., based in Virginia, will build the park in partnership with Pillar Design Studios in Arizona and Artisan Skate Park Designers.

“Decisions probably won’t be made too long afterward. It will depend on how much tweaking we want to make and suggestions we get Thursday night,” Stam said.

“We don’t want to spend too much time on this. We’ve been waiting a long time so we want to zero in and maybe make a few suggested changes,” she said.

Salisbury City Council has already approved the much-anticipated skate park on North Park Drive, but the design is being finalized.

County officials are hoping to finalize the city’s donation of land, too.

The property has remained unimproved to not harm the city’s underground source of drinking water. County officials said the water source would be safe. Nothing would be paved or built that could harm it.

If both parties agree, work to enlarge the park could start this fall. The target date for completion is spring 2016.

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